Copernicus Therapeutics, Inc. has announced that it will receive up to $5.2 million from Cystic Fibrosis Foundation Therapeutics, Inc. (CFFT) to support continued development of a potential gene therapy for cystic fibrosis. This continued funding is a result of satisfactory progress shown in 2006 and represents a significant increase in funding over that received in 2006.
Copernicus’ non-viral nanoparticle formulation is intended to deliver a normal copy of the CF gene to the affected lung cells of CF patients, and may provide a therapy that treats the root cause of CF. Copernicus’ first clinical trial, supported by CFFT, demonstrated the desired safety profile and encouraging biological changes were observed.
Cystic fibrosis is the most common fatal genetic disease in the United States, affecting approximately 30,000 children and adults. It causes serious lung infections and digestive complications. About 10 million Americans are unknowing carriers of a CF gene.
“We have had a productive relationship for a number of years with CFFT and we share the common goal of providing a safe and effective therapeutic for people with CF,” said Robert C. Moen, M.D., Ph.D., president and CEO of Copernicus.
“Our relationship with CFFT involves not only financial support, but also support at the scientific level through a research review committee comprised of outstanding academic scientists active in the areas required for development of a successful product. We look forward to working with CFFT in meeting the critical need for an effective gene-based therapy for the lung manifestations of CF,” said Moen.
“We are encouraged by the promise of Copernicus’ technology and the scientific rigor the firm is applying to the development process,” said Robert J. Beall, Ph.D., president and CEO of the CF Foundation and CFFT.
“Gene-based therapies offer hope for potentially lifesaving treatments that tackle the root cause of CF, rather than just the symptoms. We are grateful for the many people that generously support CFF and provide CFFT with critical financial resources to support this kind of research.”