Innovate UK grant for powdered gene therapy

Orthopaedic surgery

TherageniX and the University of Nottingham have been awarded a £995,000 ($1,252,585) grant from Innovate UK, the UK’s innovation agency.

The funding will support the development of the company’s gene therapy in a powder, a non-viral gene delivery system to improve tissue regeneration following surgery.

TherageniX will initially focus on orthopaedic applications, with the aim of improving the outcomes for patients undergoing bone grafting procedures.

The technology allows rapid transfection of patients’ cells with the gene(s) of interest. Following this intra-operative procedure, the transfected cells are then implanted at the surgical site, enabling the body to produce the relevant proteins or factors for tissue regeneration.

The grant was awarded in response to Innovate UK’s call for “innovative technologies for intracellular drug delivery” as part of its Transforming Medicines Manufacturing programme.

Dr James Dixon, Associate Professor of the School of Pharmacy and NIHR Nottingham Biomedical Research Centre at University of Nottingham, who developed the TherageniX platform, said: “Adapting technology for a rapid application directly to grafted tissue within the operating theatre has been a vision for our gene delivery platform for several years. We have the opportunity here to bring regenerative medicine and gene therapy forward with innovative applications and apply it in ways we could not have envisaged only a few years ago, even to emergency medicine.

“Deployment via a dry powder will allow us to overcome some of the bottlenecks for its impact. We hope that our system will generate a platform of transformative, and economically viable approaches to clinical problems that remain poorly addressed in modern medicine.”

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