Non-viral delivery for gene therapyA next generation gene therapy delivery approach
Several clinical trials are now under way to explore the efficacy of gene transfer, a type of gene therapy, as a treatment for Duchenne. This entails using a micro-dystrophin – a shortened form of the dystrophin gene – with the aim of producing a functional dystrophin protein that patients’ bodies can utilise.
Current investigational gene transfer candidates for Duchenne make use of an adeno-associated virus (AAV). An AAV is a virus that is not known to cause disease and that acts as the delivery vehicle to carry the micro-dystrophin to patients’ cells.
As viral based gene therapies continue to demonstrate therapeutic benefit in the clinic, DRF believes it is crucial to also invest in non-viral delivery methods. These technologies may provide strategies to complement current viral gene therapies by potentially increasing cargo size, widening patient eligibility and potentially offering methods to re-administer gene therapies to patients who have already received a viral-based therapy.
DRF has provided funding for Solid Biosciences’ non-viral delivery research programme, which has partnered with experts across three different labs, two working in nanoparticle formation to develop and optimise a nanoparticle-based gene delivery system, and one working in exosome development as a further alternative to current gene delivery mechanisms.
Cambridge, MA, USA
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