StrideBio, an Indian American-led emerging startup based in Research Triangle Park, North Carolina, which is focusing on gene therapies that recently closed a huge $81.5 million round of venture capital last month, is partnering with Duke University as it expands efforts to create next-generation therapies.

WRAL Tech Wire reports that the agreement is described as “a multi-technology collaboration.”

Specific financial terms were not disclosed but include equity, upfront and milestone-driven payments, and sponsored research commitments from the StrideBio to Duke University. Also included are royalties on future product sales, according to the report.

“We are very excited to partner with Duke University to advance these technologies that can improve and expand on the potential benefits of gene therapies for patients who desperately need them,” Sapan Shah, StrideBio’s CEO, said in a statement.

“We look forward to working together with a fantastic group of Duke researchers and clinicians to bring next-generation AAV-based gene therapies to patients with rare CNS diseases and beyond, starting with Alternating Hemiplegia of Childhood,” added Shah.

StrideBio is focused on what it calls engineered viral vectors, or AAV, for gene therapy. The firm has already announced it has struck a deal with Crispr Therapeutics to develop in vivo gene delivery applications, the report notes.

As part of the deal, StrideBio will receive development funding, milestones and royalties on licensed vectors, and retain certain rights to use the novel AAV vectors for gene therapy applications, it said.

“The agreements announced (April 14) provide StrideBio an exclusive license to multiple technologies that will enable best-in-class next-generation gene therapies developed at Duke University. Included are novel engineered AAV vectors which complement StrideBio’s existing STRIVETM capsid engineering platform, having been selected through a cross-species evolution that results in significantly enhanced tropism and potency versus AAV9 across a wide range of tissues such as CNS, skeletal and cardiac muscle,” StrideBio said in its release.

Added Robin Rasor, executive director of the Office of Licensing and Ventures at Duke: “This License and Master Sponsored Research Agreement will ensure that these innovative technologies receive the resources and expertise necessary to develop treatments that can ultimately benefit patients. We are delighted to have StrideBio as a partner on this important effort in the gene therapy area.”

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