CLEVELAND--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Copernicus Therapeutics, Inc., announced today a collaborative effort with the University of Kentucky (UK) to develop a DNA nanoparticle therapy for Parkinson’s disease. Based on positive initial treatments in a rat model of Parkinson’s disease, conducted by Dr. David Yurek at UK, a second phase of studies will now work to optimize the nanoparticle payload, a DNA expression system that is capable of expressing candidate therapeutic genes for months, if not years, in the affected brain regions of Parkinson’s disease patients.
“Copernicus’ unique, non-viral nanoparticle formulation is designed to safely and effectively deliver and express therapeutic genes and siRNAs to sites of human disease, including the brain, eye, and lung,” said Mark J. Cooper, senior VP of Science and Medical Affairs at Copernicus. “We are most encouraged by the positive treatment results of Parkinson’s disease rats treated with DNA nanoparticles containing the GDNF gene. Copernicus has developed proprietary expression elements that achieve long term gene expression in various tissues, and sustained expression of GDNF in the rat brain will lead to further IND-track studies for a phase I human clinical trial in Parkinson’s disease subjects.”
“I have long maintained that it is important for UK researchers to reach out and partner with industry leaders,” said UK President Lee T. Todd, Jr. “Dr. Yurek’s research collaboration with Copernicus Therapeutics is a perfect example of how we can leverage the innovation and discovery in our labs to add value to private sector companies. And I hope the partnership will lead to some important breakthroughs in our on-going battle against Parkinson’s disease.”
Funding for this project has been provided by The Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s Research.
Copernicus Therapeutics, Inc., a privately held biotechnology company, is dedicated to delivering the promise of nucleic acid therapeutics. The same technology that delivers the GDNF gene to Parkinson’s disease patients can be applied to treating other brain disorders, retinitis pigmentosa and other ocular diseases, and the lung manifestations of cystic fibrosis. The Copernicus multi-component delivery platform and expression systems can be used to develop nucleic acid therapies for numerous human diseases. Additional information about Copernicus is available at http://www.copernicustherapeutics.com.