eGenesis Announces Research Collaboration with the University of Miami to Evaluate Human Compatible Islet Cells in Diabetes Model
CAMBRIDGE, Mass., March 09, 2022 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- eGenesis, a gene-editing company developing human-compatible (HuCo™) organs and cells, today announced the initiation of a research collaboration with the University of Miami Leonard M. Miller School of Medicine. The collaboration will encompass the evaluation of gene-edited pancreatic HuCo™ islet cells in a clinically relevant diabetes model as a prerequisite to advancing to human clinical trials. This collaboration is in addition to eGenesis’ existing partnerships with Massachusetts General Hospital, initiated in 2017, and Duke University School of Medicine, initiated in 2020.
The research of HuCo™ islet cell transplants will be conducted in the laboratory of Norma Sue Kenyon, Ph.D., Martin Kleiman Professor of Surgery, Microbiology & Immunology, Biomedical Engineering and Biochemistry & Molecular Biology at the Diabetes Research Institute, Miller School of Medicine.
“Advancements in gene editing technology have enabled the potential of developing and safely transplanting HuCo™ organs and cells into humans,” said Dr. Kenyon. “The goal is to develop an important medical advance for the 1.6 million Americans living with type 1 diabetes. Our research will evaluate genetically modified islet cells in a clinically relevant model of diabetes as a precursor to initiating human studies in the future if successful.”
Michael Curtis, Ph.D., President of Research & Development of eGenesis added, “Our mission is to develop HuCo™ organs and cells to improve the health and quality of life of all patients who could benefit from transplantation. This collaboration with the University of Miami has the potential to accelerate our research and provide additional validation of our HuCo™ islet cell program and may lead to their evaluation in human clinical trials in patients with type 1 diabetes. We look forward to working with Dr. Kenyon and her colleagues to advance the field of organ and cell transplantation.”
About Transplantation and Xenotransplantation
The demand for life saving organs far outnumber available supply. In the U.S. alone, more than 100,000 people are on the national transplant list. Twenty people die every day due to lack of available organs for transplant and every 10 minutes, a new name is added to the national transplant waitlist.
The concept of xenotransplantation (the transplantation of organs and cells from one species to another) has been explored for decades, with the pig considered the most suitable donor for humans. However, virology and immunology hurdles prevented the field from advancing beyond early preclinical research. With the advent of cutting-edge gene-editing technologies, addressing these historical challenges is now within reach.
eGenesis’ goal is to transform the field of transplantation by offering safe and effective Human Compatible (HuCo™) organs and cells to patients in need. The company harnesses gene-editing technology including CRISPR to address the key issues that have impeded xenotransplantation to date. eGenesis’ development pipeline includes lead programs for kidney and islet cell transplant as well as earlier-stage programs focused on other solid organs. Learn more at egenesisbio.com.