New partnership looks to gene therapy for dementia  


The Cell and Gene Therapy Catapult (CGT Catapult) has partnered with the UK Dementia Research Institute (UK DRI) to help advance the development of adeno-associated virus (AAV) based gene therapies for dementia. 

Through the collaboration, the CGT Catapult will work with UK academic centres and the UK DRI to identify new AAV-based gene therapies that have a good chance of becoming new medicines for dementia. Once identified, both organisation will develop project plans and potentially conduct early research activities in order to prepare assets for further investment.  

According to Alzheimer’s Research UK, around 944,000 people are estimated to have dementia in the UK1. Dementia remains one of the leading causes of mortality in the UK but available treatments are fewer compared to other leading causes of death such as heart disease and cancer.  

Official comments 

Matthew Durdy, CEO of CGT Catapult, said: “Dementia is increasing, under-researched and has very limited treatment options. Cell and gene therapies have in the past shown to be highly effective in treatment areas where other therapies have had limited success. It is therefore vital that we fully explore how cell and gene therapies could be used to address this unmet medical need, and we look forward to working closely with the UK DRI to identify and accelerate the most promising therapies.” 

Dr Iraida Soria-Espinosa, UK Dementia Research Institute Senior Innovation and Business Manager added: “Advances in gene therapy will enable us to make a huge difference for people affected by neurodegenerative disease. Our new partnership with the CGT Catapult is an exciting opportunity to combine our expertise to propel forward this promising area of research and identify new treatments.” 




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