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New Collaboration Explores Efficacy of Gene Delivery Vector Tech in Diabetes and Multiple Sclerosis

New Collaboration Explores Efficacy of Gene Delivery Vector Tech in Diabetes and Multiple Sclerosis content piece image
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Amarna Therapeutics, a Dutch privately held biotechnology company developing the next-generation SV40-based gene delivery vector platform transforming gene-replacement and immunotherapy across many disease areas. The company today announced it has entered into a collaboration with scientists from the Progreso y Salud Foundation (FPS) at Cabimer in Seville, to jointly examine the efficacy of Amarna’s SVec™ gene delivery vector to develop effective immunotherapies for diabetes mellitus type 1 (DM1) and multiple sclerosis (MS).

The collaboration is a joint effort between the research group of the FPS at research institute Cabimer, led by Dr. Benoit Gauthier, and Amarna Therapeutics, represented by Dr. Peter de Haan (CSO) and Miguel García Toscano (Head of Laboratory in Spain).

To date, the symptoms of DM1 and MS can be managed, but patients cannot be cured from both autoimmune diseases. The aim of this joint effort is to study the efficacy of Amarna’s SV40-based gene delivery vector platform, denoted SVec™, for downregulation of pathological immune responses that underlie the destruction of own cells in DM1 and in MS patients.

The research will focus on the induction of SVec™-mediated immune tolerance to the primary self-antigens of both diseases. The studies will use advanced animal models of both autoimmune diseases, that have been established by the collaboration partners. Amarna will invest some €0.6 million over the next two years in the Gauthier research group to conduct the animal proof-of-principle studies for these two indications, for which at present there are no cures available.

Benoit Gauthier, Staff Scientist at Junta de Andalucia-Consejeria de Salud y Familias, comments: “We are thrilled to start this new venture with Amarna Therapeutics, a world leader in viral gene therapy and we anticipate the studies to generate exciting results”

Peter de Haan, Amarna Therapeutic’s Chief Scientific Officer, adds: “We are delighted entering this collaboration with such a renowned academic partner like FPS and we look very much forward to initiate the planned studies. Since the quality of life for patients with DM1 and MS is so severely impaired given the lack of cures for these invalidating diseases, the more efficiently we can develop our groundbreaking SV40-based gene delivery vector based therapies, the sooner patients will experience the positive impact of our solution on their lives.”