11 July 2017

Genome editing was helped financially

The Russian developer of the HIV treatment method based on genome editing will receive 44 million rubles


Skolkovo resident Advanced Gene & Cell Technologies (AGCT) has received the first tranche of financing from the RBV Capital venture fund, created with the participation of RVC capital and R-Pharm Group of Companies. The total volume of investments will amount to 44 million rubles. The implementation of the project will make it possible to bring genomic editing technology to clinical practice for the treatment of patients with lymphomas and HIV who are shown bone marrow transplantation.

The Russian biotech company AGCT is developing a method of HIV treatment based on editing human DNA. The technology is based on changing the CCR5 coreceptor gene (responsible for the penetration of the virus into the cell) in the patient's own bone marrow cells. After removal from the bone marrow and ex vivo editing (removal of the CCR5 coreceptor), the cells are transplanted back to the patient, where they differentiate into cells of the immune system and become immune to the most common subtypes of HIV.

AGCT plans to use the investment to prepare a package of preclinical data for a Phase 1-2 pilot clinical trial.

It is expected that, if successful, the technology being developed will make it possible to get rid of lifelong antiretroviral therapy not only for HIV patients with tumors, but can also be applied to the treatment of non-oncological HIV patients resistant to antiretroviral therapy and "immunological non-responders" – HIV patients who, despite antiretroviral therapy, do not recover the number of immune cells.

According to Marina Popova, CEO of AGCT, the company conducts this work in close cooperation with the First St. Petersburg State Medical University. Academician I.P. Pavlov. She noted that the interest from RBV Capital demonstrates confidence in the development and the AGCT team.

According to Kirill Kaem, Executive Director of the biomedical technologies cluster of the Skolkovo Foundation, the company's project is unique, as it brings together innovative genome editing technology and expertise in bone marrow transplantation for the treatment of hemoblastosis.

Portal "Eternal youth" http://vechnayamolodost.ru  11.07.2017

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