Voyager Therapeutics issued a press release today about their finances, recent leadership transitions, and importantly, a major shift in their scientific pipeline. The announcement centered around a proprietary technology called TRACER, which could allow Voyager to develop less invasive delivery methods (like IV injection) for HD gene therapies. Today’s press release shared that Voyager will shift its focus to the new TRACER platform and away from older existing ones. This means that Voyager will no longer be pursuing VY-HTT01, a therapy developed for HD that was meant to be the focus of a safety trial involving a brain surgery later this year. The trial would have been called VYTAL, but no participants had yet been recruited.
Although the loss of a gene therapy that was approaching the clinic is a significant short-term setback, Voyager’s shift in focus now to accommodate a new scientific development provides a new and potentially better therapeutic avenue for HD.