Inspire Biotherapeutics launches to target lung diseases through gene therapy

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lung disease

Inspire Biotherapeutics Inc., an emerging Canadian biotech company with a mission to create gene therapies for monogenic and acquired diseases of the lung, is set to move its novel lung tropic AAV gene therapy into clinical validation.

The AAVenger platform has demonstrated transduction and long-term expression in lung tissue without impact on other tissue types in disease-relevant animal models. The platform can be applied to treat many lung diseases.

These include interstitial lung disease, pulmonary fibrosis, other monogenic lung diseases and cystic fibrosis.

Inspire Biotherapeutics’ scientific founders – Bernard Thébaud, chief medical officer, and Sarah Wootton, chief scientific officer, say they are pursuing initiation of a first-in-human clinical trial for a lethal neonatal lung disease.

“Identifying vectors that can effectively deliver and express therapeutic transgenes in the lung has been a major challenge in realizing a curative gene therapy for genetic lung diseases,” said Thébaud. 

“The AAVenger platform has demonstrated quick and sustained expression and is amenable to repeated dosing in lung tissue.”

Inspire Biotherapeutics’ technology looks to tackle unmet need

“Inspire’s AAVenger technology is tackling critical unmet need in diseases of the lung,” said Sandra Donaldson, Inspire’s chief executive officer. 

“Our lead indication is currently fatal in neonates – we are compelled to get this across the finish line! A near-term clinical trial in this fragile population will validate Inspire’s AAVenger platform.”

The company launch is supported by three business founders – C3i Center Inc., Octane Medical Group of Companies, and the Ontario Institute for Regenerative Medicine.

There are a whole range of lung diseases. If combined into one category, lung disease would be the third biggest killer in the U.S., according to the National Library of Medicine.

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