DALLAS, July 11, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- Today Baylor College of Medicine (BCM) and Gradalis, Inc. announced the signing of a Master Collaboration Agreement focused on BCM scientists' use of Gradalis' proprietary bifunctional shRNA (bi-shRNA) platform in BCM's research directed at various biological targets for therapeutic intervention. The translational medicine collaboration covers multiple BCM investigators and multiple therapeutic targets in cancer.
This collaboration will further BCM's mission of advancing human health through the integration of education, research, patient care and community service. Gradalis will benefit from the collaboration because BCM researchers will conduct early-stage research needed for proof of concept and formal pre-clinical studies, manufacturing, quality assurance and quality control, supporting assay development, regulatory submissions and clinical development.
"Agreements with commercial partners like Gradalis will help BCM accelerate the development of promising therapeutic approaches and links our strengths in discovery phase research with Gradalis' clinical development capabilities," said Adam Kuspa, Ph.D., Vice President for Research for BCM. "We look forward to a very fruitful research and development relationship."
As part of the collaboration, Gradalis will share with the scientists at BCM the company's novel bi-shRNA constructs that shut down expression of specific proteins of therapeutic interest. Gradalis will also provide BCM researchers access to its portfolio of proprietary research-enabling technologies including SuperClean DNA, reversible masking, liposomal delivery and liposomal targeting. Those bi-shRNA constructs showing promise in pre-clinical testing at BCM will be moved forward into clinical development by Gradalis.
"We look forward to entering into the collaborative development of a new line of therapeutic molecules that have not been exploited previously," said Bert W. O'Malley, M.D., Professor and Chair, BCM Department of Molecular & Cellular Biology. "To this end, the Gradalis technology, in combination with our basic discovery and pre-clinical research in molecular and cellular biology, will constitute a formidable team moving forward."
The collaboration has the potential not only to advance the interests of the two organizations but the RNA therapeutic field as a whole.
"This is truly a landmark opportunity for both organizations, and both groups stand to benefit tremendously from this relationship," said John Nemunaitis, M.D., executive medical director of the Mary Crowley Cancer Research Centers and chief medical officer and co-founder of Gradalis. "Baylor College of Medicine's pre-clinical research capabilities are best-in-class and will even further advance some of the great results we are seeing in our primary platforms, including our tumor-based personalized cancer therapeutic vaccine, FANG."
About Baylor College of Medicine
Baylor College of Medicine (www.bcm.edu) in Houston is recognized as a premier academic health science center and is known for excellence in education, research and patient care. It is the only private medical school in the greater southwest and is ranked as one of the top 25 medical schools for research in U.S. News & World Report. BCM is listed 17th among all U.S. medical schools for National Institutes of Health funding, and No. 2 in the nation in federal funding for research and development in the biological sciences at universities and colleges by the National Science Foundation. Currently, BCM trains more than 3,000 medical, graduate, nurse anesthesia, and physician assistant students, as well as residents and post-doctoral fellows. Follow Baylor College of Medicine on Facebook (http://www.facebook.com/BaylorCollegeOfMedicine) and Twitter (http://twitter.com/BCMHouston).
About Gradalis, Inc.
Gradalis, Inc. is a privately-held, fully-integrated biotechnology company based in Dallas, Texas that is developing, manufacturing and commercializing drugs, vaccines, tools and diagnostics primarily in the area of cancer. The company has two primary platforms: one focused on personalized autologous vaccines and the other focused on bifunctional short hairpin RNA delivered via a proprietary lipoplex system. Gradalis has its own state of the art GMP manufacturing facility along with high-skilled technical leadership and staff, as well as a strategic partnership with Mary Crowley Cancer Research Centers for early stage clinical development of Gradalis products. More information on the Company and its programs can be found at www.gradalisinc.com.
SOURCE Gradalis, Inc.