AMT GETS EUR 1.8 MILLION FOR EX VIVO GENE THERAPY FOR CROHN'S.
Ex vivo IL-10 gene therapy, pioneered by one of AMT's founders Prof. Sander Van Deventer, allows the modulation of T-lymphocytes, such that the cells express the anti-inflammatory protein IL-10. AMT's treatment strategy is particularly designed as a long term maintenance therapy. The animal data, obtained thus far in a mice model for colitis, indicate that transduced T lymphocytes are able to specifically "home" to the gut mucosa, thereby reducing colitis and resulting in survival and long term maintenance of body weight of the animals, which are primary parameters of effectively suppressed inflammation of the gut. A second advantage of this strategy is that the local expression of IL-10 does not seem to alter systemic immune responses. AMT licensed rights for IL-10 for ex vivo gene therapy in inflammatory diseases of the gastrointestinal tract from Schering Plough Corp., NJ, USA.
Crohn's disease is one of two major inflammatory bowel diseases and is characterized by a chronic inflammation of the gastro-intestinal tract. Twenty percent of Crohn's patients have debilitating perianal fistulas, and the quality of life of these patients is severely reduced. Other clinical features of the disease are blood loss, bowel obstruction, and severe weight loss. In most patients with active disease, remissions can be induced using conventional treatments such as corticosteroids or newer strategies such as anti-TNFa treatment. However, such remissions are often short of duration, thereby presenting a window of opportunity for innovative maintenance therapy in Crohn's disease.
AMT was founded in 1998 at the initiative of researchers from the University of Amsterdam at the Academic Medical Center (AMC), one of the largest academic hospitals in the world. AMT is focused on the development and production of virus-based therapeutics and vaccines. Currently, AMT is located on the premises of the AMC and employs a staff of 35 people. AMT possesses expert capabilities and knowledge covering viral vector generation, scale-up of production processes and manufacturing of clinical grade products. The infrastructure at AMT is available to companies and academic institutes through the offer of GMP manufacturing services of virus-based therapeutics and vaccines on a fee-for-service basis.
For more information, visit http://www.amtbv.com.
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|Date:||Nov 1, 2003|
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