Author: press release Source: PR Newswire (
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GAITHERSBURG, Md., March 20 /PRNewswire/ -- Lentigen Corporation today
announced an exclusive licensing agreement with Case Western Reserve
University (CWRU) in Cleveland, Ohio, to develop a novel stem-cell therapy
for glioblastoma, an aggressive type of brain cancer. Under the agreement,
Case Western and its primary affiliate, University Hospitals Case Medical
Center, will lead the first in vivo clinical trial, and Lentigen will be
responsible for further clinical development and commercialization.
The new therapy will be based on MGMT, a gene that has been shown to
repair damaged DNA. A specially designed lentiviral vector will be used to
deliver the gene specifically to bone-marrow stem cells that have been
damaged by drugs commonly used to treat cancer. A Phase I clinical trial,
which will be held at Case Western later this year, will evaluate the
potential of this lentiviral vector-MGMT technology (LV-MGMT) to enhance
current treatments for glioblastoma by repairing and preventing this damage
to bone-marrow stem cells.
"This clinical trial will represent the first time lentiviral vectors
will be used with MGMT for stem cell therapy in humans," said Stanton L.
Gerson, MD, director of the Ireland Cancer Center of University Hospitals
Case Medical Center and the Case Comprehensive Cancer Center, who
co-developed the technology with Anthony E. Pegg, Ph.D., the Evan Pugh
Professor of Cellular and Molecular Physiology, and Pharmacology at Penn
State University. Dr. Gerson commented, "Glioblastoma is a serious
diagnosis with limited treatment options, so this new therapeutic approach
has the potential to greatly enhance options for patients with this
Boro Dropulic, Ph.D., Lentigen's founder, president and chief
scientific officer, commented, "LV-MGMT technology has the potential to
greatly enhance the therapeutic efficacy of existing drugs that target
glioblastoma by lowering their toxicity to bone marrow stem cells. Beyond
glioblastoma, this technology could also be used for therapies for other
diseases such as AIDS, leukemia and hemophilia. We are quite excited to be
working with Dr. Gerson to move LV-MGMT into the clinic."
Tim Ravenscroft, Lentigen's CEO, commented, "We feel very fortunate to
be collaborating with Dr. Gerson to develop this promising technology with
broad potential applications. Our exclusive license to develop this
technology is a significant step towards our goal of applying our
lentiviral vector expertise to the development of cutting-edge
About Lentiviral Vectors
Lentiviral vectors (LV) are vehicles that can deliver genes or RNAi
into cells with up to 100% efficiency and stability. By comparison, other
viral vector systems such as non-viral, adenoviral and adeno-associated
viral vectors have not been shown to achieve both high and stable gene
delivery in dividing cells.
Gene delivery is accomplished by the binding and fusing of the LV
pseudotyped envelope protein to the target cell membrane. The LV RNA
containing the gene or gene silencing sequence is then incorporated into
the cell via reverse transcription creating a DNA complex. This complex
enters the nucleus incorporating into the chromosomal DNA creating a stable
molecule. The gene sequence is integrated in the chromosome and is copied
along with the DNA during ongoing cell division.
About Lentigen Corporation
Lentigen Corporation is a privately owned biotechnology company focused
on the development of lentiviral vector technology for a wide range of
therapeutic, vaccine and research applications in biotechnology and
medicine. Lentiviral vectors are the most efficient vehicles for the
delivery of genes or gene silencing sequences stably into cells. Lentigen
is a highly collaborative company, co-developing lentiviral vector-based
products across a broad spectrum of bench to clinical applications.
Partnerships include The National Institutes of Health, The University of
Pennsylvania, ThermoFisher Scientific and The U.S. Army. For further
information, visit www.lentigen.com. http://www.lentigen.com/
Richard Lewis Communications, Inc.