SEATTLE--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Immusoft Corporation, a Seattle, Wash.-based cell therapy company, announced today that it has received a Phase II Small Business Innovation Research grant (SBIR) from the National Institute of General Medical Sciences, part of the National Institutes of Health (NIH). The grant, in the amount of just over $3.5 million, will enable Immusoft to further advance its modified B cell approach to treating disease.
“We appreciate the NIH’s support of our approach,” says Sean Ainsworth, Immusoft’s CEO and Chairman of the Board. “This SBIR grant will help us expand upon our cutting-edge work in MPS I and further explore modalities for delivering proteins across the blood-brain barrier.”
MPS I (Mucopolysaccharidosis type I) is a rare childhood genetic disease that affects the body’s ability to produce IDUA (alpha-L-iduronidase), which is an essential enzyme that helps to break down long-chain sugars inside cells. When the sugar chains cannot be broken down and disposed of, they accumulate in the cells and cause progressive damage. This accumulation can happen in the tissues, including the brain.
Immusoft seeks to dramatically improve on current treatments of MPS I by using its Immune System Programming™ technology, which involves reprogramming a patient’s B cells, a type of immune cell, outside the body to produce therapeutic proteins, such as IDUA.
“This award is great news for Immusoft,” says R. Scott McIvor, Ph.D., Immusoft’s Chief Development Officer. “These funds will provide resources to accelerate further development of Immusoft’s B cell product as an effective therapy for human disease.”
SBIR grants are awarded to businesses to conduct research and development that can potentially be commercialized. Immusoft’s Phase II grant follows an earlier Phase I grant the company received to conduct studies to express IDUA in B cells using the Sleeping Beauty Transposon System, which delivers genes into cells without using a virus. As part of the Phase II, Immusoft will pursue a strategy for facilitating enhanced delivery across the blood-brain barrier and delivery of the IDUA enzyme.
Immusoft Corporation’s (immusoft.com) mission is to treat diseases using its breakthrough technology platform called Immune System Programming (ISP™). The technology modifies a patient’s B cells and instructs the cells to produce gene-encoded medicines (biologics). The B cells that are reprogrammed using ISP become miniature drug factories that are expected to survive in patients for many years. Founded in 2009, Immusoft is based in Seattle, Wash.
Statements in this press release that are not strictly historical are forward-looking statements as defined in the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Forward-looking statements are based on management’s current plans, estimates and projections. The beliefs, assumptions and expectations on which these statements are based can change as a result of many possible events or factors, not all of which are known to Immusoft Corporation or are within its control. Immusoft Corporation undertakes no obligation to update any forward-looking statement in light of new information or future events. Actual results or outcomes may differ from those implied by the forward-looking statements as a result of a number of operational, scientific, regulatory and related risks and uncertainties.