VANCOUVER, BRITISH COLUMBIA--(Marketwire - February 25, 2010) - enGene Inc., a privately-held biotechnology company, announced today that Dr. Eric Hsu, Sr. Director of Preclinical Research, is scheduled to present recent data on the use of enGene's proprietary technology to concentrate delivery of interleukin-10 (IL-10) to the colon for treating IBD at the Canadian Association of Gastroenterology (CAG) annual scientific conference in Toronto. Selected as a "Poster of Distinction", Dr. Hsu will present data showing that a single administration of nanoparticles carrying an expression construct for IL-10 (EG-10) to mice with colitis led to significant disease attenuation and improvement in recovery time. The poster session will be held from 3:15 to 6:00 pm on February 28th, 2010 at the Fairmount Royal York, Ballroom & Salon B.
"This is very promising work. There are significant unmet medical needs for Crohn's and ulcerative colitis patients; current therapies either have many side effects or tend to loose effectiveness over time. enGene's approach, i.e. local delivery of an anti-inflammatory drug to avoid systemic toxicity, is both novel and sensible. While the therapeutic potential of IL-10 has been previously demonstrated in human studies, no one has identified a way to effectively deliver it specifically to the inflamed tissue and thus avoid systemic exposure and related toxicities. This approach seems to be a new way forward," said Dr. Kevan Jacobson, Assoc. Prof. and Pediatric Gastroenterologist at BC Children's Hospital and also a co-author of the poster. "The 'Poster of Distinction' designation means that the CAG selection committee recognizes this as important and relevant work," added Dr. Jacobson.
More about Inflammatory Bowel Disease
IBD is an autoimmune disorder with unknown etiology. In Canada, IBD is highly prevalent with more than 200,000 Canadians affected and an additional 9,000 new cases diagnosed every year. The economical impact for IBD in Canada is about $1.8 billion annually, including both direct and non-direct costs. Since IBD is a chronic relapsing disease, patients generally require lifelong treatment.
More about enGene Inc. and GEMS™
enGene's technology, Gut Epithelial cell Modification System (GEMS™), utilizes the protein (or drug) production capacity of the patient's existing, normal, healthy cells in the gastrointestinal tract by delivering a gene construct which, when taken up by the cells, instructs them to produce and release the therapeutic drug. The first applications of GEMS™ are focused on inducing normal, healthy cells in the intestinal tract to act as surrogates in the production of several key therapeutic proteins to treat several prevalent autoimmune and gastrointestinal disorders, including diabetes and inflammatory bowel disease. Other potential near-term applications for GEMS™ include celiac disease, obesity, anemia and hemophilia.
Additional information about the Company is available at www.engeneinc.com.