Charles River and Rznomics Announce RNA-based Anticancer Gene Therapy Manufacturing Alliance

Charles River Laboratories International, Inc. and Rznomics Inc., a South Korea-based biopharmaceutical company specialized in the development of RNA-based gene therapeutics, announced a viral vector contract development and manufacturing organization (CDMO) partnership. Rznomics will leverage Charles River’s viral vector CDMO experience to initiate clinical development of its RNA-based anticancer gene therapy in liver cancer patients.

RZ-001 is the first ribozyme-based RNA reprogramming approach approved by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for evaluation in patients. The treatment was developed utilizing Rznomics’ proprietary RNA reprogramming and editing technology and takes the form of an adenoviral vector that expresses an hTERT targeting ribozyme to treat hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) patients. HCC is the most common type of primary liver cancer, accounting for 80 percent of cases worldwide.

Rznomics received Phase I/IIa IND approval for RZ-001 from the FDA in October, allowing the initiation of an international clinical study in HCC patients. Early-phase trials have also commenced in Korea following IND approval for RZ-001 from the South Korean Ministry of Food and Drug Safety (MFDS), formerly the Korea Food & Drug Administration (KFDA) in June.

Adenoviral Vector Manufacturing Services

Charles River has standardized protocols for cell culture, transfection, and downstream purification, as well as a validated platform process with a proven track record. These high-yield, optimized methods increase speed to clinical manufacturing by reducing process development time and costs while ensuring the highest quality production.

Expanding its comprehensive cell and gene therapy portfolio to span viral vector, plasmid DNA, and cell therapy production, through the acquisitions of Vigene Biosciences, Cobra Biologics, and Cognate BioServices in 2021, Charles River offers end-to-end support and supply chain simplification for advanced therapy medical product (ATMP) developers.

Approved Quotes

  • “This collaboration with Rznomics will tap into our industry-leading CDMO capabilities and we are thrilled that our expertise will help to bring RZ-001, a potentially curative therapy, to HCC patients.” – Birgit Girshick, Corporate Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer, Charles River
  • “We are proud to have achieved FDA approval to begin Phase I/IIa trials and excited to take this next step with Charles River. A reliable and experienced manufacturing partner is of utmost importance, and we are keen to continue building this relationship to enable us to bring our leading pipeline, RZ-001, into clinical development.” – Seong-wook Lee, President and Chief Executive Officer, Rznomics