Lentigen Corporation and Expression Therapeutics, two U.S.-based biotechnology companies, announced a collaborative agreement to co-develop cell and protein therapies for the treatment of patients with hemophilia A (factor VIII deficiency).
Lentigen, based in Gaithersburg, MD, specializes in developing technologies that use lentiviruses to deliver genetically based therapies. Lentiviruses are slow-acting retroviruses well suited for delivering large amounts of genetic material to a host cell to trigger a therapeutic reaction. For patients with hemophilia A, the therapy is expected to increase the production of clotting factor. Expression Therapeutics of Tucker, Georgia, uses a hybrid combination of both human and porcine (pig) factor VIII molecules to improve the half-life of protein therapies for hemophilia A patients and to reduce inhibitor risk.
“The two therapeutic approaches leverage Lentigen’s technology in two important areas: protein expression and cell therapy,” said Boro Dropulic, PhD, President and Chief Scientific Officer of Lentigen. “Factor VIII is a difficult protein to manufacture but Lentigen’s protein expression technology will permit the production of a novel human factor VIII protein at levels highly favorable for commercialization. Secondly, Expression Therapeutics’ proprietary factor VIII will be used in a novel stem cell therapy for hemophilia A that aims to restore the clotting capability of patients suffering from this debilitating disease.”
Source: Lentigen Corporation press release dated February 4, 2009