STRASBOURG, France, and MADISON, Wis., Oct. 11 /PRNewswire/ -- Transgene (Nasdaq: TRGNY; Nouveau Marche: TRANSGENE) and privately held Mirus today announced that they entered into a research and license agreement to develop gene therapy products using Mirus' muscle delivery technology for the delivery of Transgene's plasmid-based and adenoviral vectors to skeletal muscle. Transgene will fund a one-year research program at Mirus to apply Mirus' technology to Transgene's gene therapy product candidates for muscular dystrophy and multiple sclerosis.
Mirus' intra-vascular technology consists of a method that promotes efficient transfer of vectors from the bloodstream into muscle, thus allowing gene delivery throughout the muscle mass, unlike the widely-used direct intra-muscular injection route of administration, where gene transfer is limited to the area at the site of injection. Mirus and Transgene believe the Mirus technology could be employed for neuromuscular disorders and for the delivery of secreted therapeutic proteins to the blood.
Under the agreement, Mirus grants Transgene options to license its technology for the intra-vascular delivery of therapeutic genes to skeletal muscle. Transgene's options cover gene therapy products for the treatment of Duchenne's muscular dystrophy, multiple sclerosis, as well as five additional disease targets to be selected over a five-year period. Transgene has developed a broad portfolio of viral and plasmid-based vectors for gene delivery and, through its partnership with Human Genome Sciences and its functional genomics approaches, has the capacity to identify novel genes for therapeutic use.
"We are very enthusiastic about our collaboration with Jon Wolff, Director of Clinical Genetics at the University of Wisconsin and CSO of Mirus, and the Mirus team," said Michael Courtney, Chief Scientific Officer of Transgene. "Having access to Mirus' muscle delivery technology in addition to our vectors and genes will open up new routes for gene therapies against chronic diseases."
Terry Sivesind, President of Mirus, stated, "The combination of Transgene's extensive experience in gene therapy and clinical trials, and Mirus' novel gene delivery technology, should significantly accelerate the progress towards a commercially successful gene therapy product."
Based in Madison, Wisconsin, Mirus focuses on non-viral gene delivery and expression.
Transgene, based in Strasbourg, France, with an office near Boston, Massachusetts, is a biopharmaceutical company dedicated to the discovery and development of gene delivery technologies and gene therapy products for the treatment of acquired or inherited diseases for which there is no cure or adequate therapy at present. The Company's proprietary technology platform consists of multiple vector families with a special emphasis on vaccinia virus, adenovirus and synthetic vectors. Transgene has five products in clinical development to treat a variety of cancer indications, including two in Phase II clinical trials and three in Phase I clinical trials.
Forward-looking statements included in this press release including without limitation those relating to Transgene's future operations and business prospects, are subject to certain risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ materially from those indicated in such forward-looking statements. Factors that may affect future operations and business prospects include, but are not limited to, actual clinical and scientific results and developments concerning corporate collaborations and Transgene's proprietary rights and other important factors described in Exhibit 99.1 of Transgene's Annual Report on Form 20-F for the year ended December 31, 1999, filed with the US Securities and Exchange Commission.
For additional information on Transgene, visit Transgene's web site at http://www.transgene.fr.
To learn more about Mirus, visit its web site at http://www.genetransfer.com.
Web Site: http://www.transgene.fr http://www.genetransfer.com