RheoGene Grants Ichor License to Develop a Regulated Gene Therapy
News Feb 14, 2006
RheoGene, Inc. has announced that it has granted a commercial license to Ichor Medical Systems for use of its RheoSwitch® Therapeutic System (RTS) in combination with Ichor Medical Systems’ proprietary TriGrid™ Delivery System electroporation technology to develop a gene therapy product for multiple sclerosis.
The agreement also grants Ichor an option to use RTS in two additional indications. Ichor has also granted an option for RheoGene to license Ichor’s TriGrid™ Delivery System to develop proprietary therapeutics.
RheoGene claims that’s RheoSwitch® Therapeutic System (RTS) is a safe and effective means to regulate both the level (dose) and timing of therapeutic gene expression using an orally administered Activator Drug.
Electroporation uses the propagation of electric fields to increase the uptake of DNA drugs by cells.
Although this technique has been widely used in research laboratories, the development of clinical products based on this technology has been hindered by the lack of a simple, reliable, and effective means for procedure administration.
Ichor’s TriGrid™ Delivery System integrates several patented technologies, into a simple handheld device that is designed to enable safe, efficient, and reproducible DNA drug delivery with minimal operator training.
Under this agreement, Ichor has the option to develop an exclusive, Ichor-proprietary formulation for the RTS Activator Drug now under development by RheoGene, or Ichor may opt to have RheoGene develop an Ichor-exclusive Activator Drug for its proprietary gene therapy products.
Ichor has also granted an option for RheoGene to license Ichor’s TriGrid™ elivery System to develop proprietary therapeutics.
"We are excited about the opportunity to work with Ichor, a leading developer of electroporation-mediated human gene therapy," said Thomas Tillett, RheoGene President and CEO.
"The combination of Ichor’s proprietary DNA delivery technology and RheoGene’s RTS gene regulation system will enable highly safe, effective and controlled delivery of therapeutic genes to patients with serious unmet medical needs."
"This collaboration provides RheoGene with a near-term opportunity to introduce the RTS system into the clinic."
"We anticipate that regulation of gene expression with RheoGene’s RTS system will greatly enhance the safety and functionality of a number of our DNA drug candidates," said Drew Hannaman, Vice President - Research and Development of Ichor Medical Systems.
"We also expect that the combination of Ichor and RheoGene technologies will accelerate clinical testing and subsequent commercialization of DNA-based protein delivery for a broad range of indications."
As genome editing technologies advance toward clinical therapies, they are raising hopes of a completely new way to treat disease. However, challenges need to be addressed before potential treatments can be widely used in patients. To tackle these challenges, the National Institutes of Health has launched the Somatic Cell Genome Editing program, which has awarded multiple grants including more than $3.6 million to assess the safety of genome editing in human cells and tissues.