This Gene Therapy Startup is Showing Off with a Better Viral Vector

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GeneQuine wants to be one of the first to use gene therapy to treat osteoarthritis! Watch Kilian Guse’s pitch at Labiotech Refresh to find out how his startup plans to do this.

Osteoarthritis is the most common joint disorder. (…) Currently, there are only symptomatic treatments but no disease-modifying treatment“. One of the major challenges is efficient drug delivery to the joints that avoids clearance by the lymphatic system. This can be overcome with long-term gene expression in the joint thanks to gene therapy.

As you may know, gene therapy is quite a hot field currently because it potentially offers a cure for chronic diseases“. GeneQuine wants to follow the steps of companies like uniQure, Spark Therapeutics and Oxford Biomedical and build a robotic platform to develop viral vectors for gene therapy.

However, GeneQuine uses a different vector from the commonly used adenoviruses and lentiviruses. Instead, it employs helper-dependent adenoviruses, i.e. recombinant vectors where all viral coding sequences have been removed. They’re “just as good in terms of long-term expression as the other vector types, but they offer the additional benefit of a larger DNA packaging capacity“. In addition, they are less immunogenic and do not integrate themselves in the host, avoiding mutagenesis.

The startup has already proven its platform in mice and horses, and in fact is considering to launch its first products with animal health indications. This way, the company can raise funds to progress through human clinical trials and reach the market.

Watch the pitch to get all the juicy details of this cool technology!

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