VANCOUVER, BRITISH COLUMBIA--(Marketwire - June 10, 2009) - enGene Inc., a privately held biotechnology company developing an innovative platform technology for the treatment of diseases including diabetes and inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), announced today that it has received a nonrepayable contribution of up to $419,509 from the National Research Council of Canada Industrial Research Assistance Program (NRC-IRAP). This contribution, in addition to both technical and business oriented advisory services provided by NRC-IRAP, will enable the company to achieve several key milestones in the path to human clinical trials for its Gut-Epithelial cell Modification System (GEMS™).
"We have made tremendous progress in the last year by achieving significant large animal results in the insulin program for diabetes, and in early diseased animal studies in the anti-inflammatory cytokine program for IBD. The NRC-IRAP support, specifically slated for continued development of the IBD program, is important in both its timing and level of funding," commented Dr. Anthony Cheung, Chief Science Officer and co-founder of enGene. "Over the course of enGene's history, NRC-IRAP has played a key role in supporting the development of GEMS™. We are very pleased to have their continued support, which has been instrumental in promoting innovations in our research and enhancing our platform nucleotide-delivery technology and product pipeline."
"As evidenced by the interest expressed by potential partners at last month's BIO International Convention in Atlanta, the opportunities for our GEMS™ platform are wide and diverse," said Eric A. Adams, President and CEO of enGene. "We are now initiating a Convertible Note financing, targeting both existing and new investors, to specifically advance the core programs, to increase our internal manufacturing know-how and to explore additional applications for this novel technology via partnerships." Recruitment into the new financing begins immediately and is expected to remain open through the summer.
About enGene Inc. and GEMS™
enGene's GEMS™ technology utilizes the therapeutic protein production capacity of existing, normal, healthy cells in the gastrointestinal tract by delivering nucleotides in a novel non-viral vector. For GEMS™-Insulin, this means enabling the patients' own cells to produce insulin in a regulated, meal-dependant fashion resulting in physiologic control of blood glucose levels. For IBD, anti-inflammatory agents are produced near the site of inflammation to restore health. Other potential applications for GEMS™ include obesity, anemia and hemophilia as well as animal health. Additional information is available at www.engeneinc.com.