DiNAQOR, a genetic medicine platform company from the Greater Zurich Area, and the Children’s Medical Research Institute (CMRI) in Westmead, Australia, have entered into a research collaboration to develop novel cardiac-specific capsid variant. According to a press release, novel bioengineered cardiac-specific capsid variants will be developed that enable gene therapies to be routed directly to the cardiac muscle.
While the CMRI affiliated with the University of Sydney will make available its extensive library of capsids, DiNAQOR will provide access to its proprietary engineered heart tissue (EHT) technology and animal tissue. DiNAQOR reportedly retains option rights to own the co-developed capsids for the fields of cardiovascular and kidney disease.
CMRI is “a pioneer in the field of gene therapy”, said Eduard Ayuso, Chief Technology Officer at DiNAQOR. “Our aim is to develop new capsids that can target the heart more efficiently at lower doses.” Johannes Holzmeister, Chairman and CEO of DiNAQOR, speaks of “an exciting collaboration”. CMRI has “a stellar team”, he adds. The CMRI team is led by Associate Professor Leszek Lisowski, an expert in viral vector-based gene therapies, vectorology and genotoxicity. “We are optimistic that novel capsids, administered with DiNAQOR's LRP system, will form a foundation of novel advanced therapies to benefit millions of affected patients world-wide,” said Lisowski.
DiNAQOR’s LRP system – loco-regional perfusion – enables gene therapies to be routed directly to the cardiac muscle, maximizing biodistribution and transduction of the cardiac cells. This new approach is actively being used in several pre-clinical studies and, according to the press release, may minimize potential adverse effects of systemic gene therapy delivery while lowering the cost.