Quebec City, Canada, October 12, 2018 – David Guay, Research Director of Feldan Therapeutics (hereafter “Feldan”) announced that his collaborator, Dr. Paul McCray from the University of Iowa Carver College of Medicine (hereafter “UI”), was awarded a $2 million (USD) grant from the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI) of the National Institutes of Health (NIH). The funds will be used to carry out a three-year project using Feldan’s technology, the Feldan Shuttle, to deliver CRISPR nucleases to airway epithelia. Upon the achievement of certain milestones, this project could lead to an additional grant of $2 million (USD) and a two-year extension to complete in vivo studies. A key component of this grant is awarded to Feldan to optimize its technology for pulmonary use.
In early 2018, the NIH launched the Somatic Cell Genome Editing (SCGE) program which aims to support the development of novel methods that enable safe and effective genome editing in humans. This grant is one of the first 21 grants to be awarded through the SCGE program. Through this award, Dr. McCray and his team, in collaboration with Feldan Therapeutics’ scientists, will advance delivery of CRISPR nucleases to hard-to-modify airway cells and measure the efficiency and safety of the method in primary human cells and in vivo models. This approach aims to create new gene-editing methods to treat airway diseases such as cystic fibrosis, asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), and other conditions.
“Gene-editing technologies offer new opportunities to modify genes, turn them off and on, and repair mutations associated with diseases,” says Dr. McCray, UI professor and executive vice chair in the Stead Family Department of Pediatrics (Division of Pulmonary Medicine, Allergy & Immunology). “A major hurdle for bringing this technology to patients is the difficulty in delivering editing materials into the organs affected by diseases. Our project will explore a novel delivery strategy to advance gene editing as a therapeutic approach for diseases that affect the airways.”
"Dr. Paul McCray is a highly valuable collaborator that has generously studied the potential of the Feldan Shuttle platform for the delivery of proteins into airway epithelia,” said Francois-Thomas Michaud, Chief Executive Officer and co-founder of Feldan. “We are very proud of the work that has already been achieved with Dr. McCray and are delighted to pursue this project alongside him in the coming years. We would like to warmly congratulate him for this award and thank the NIH for supporting this project, which could lead to the development of breakthrough therapeutic applications.”
About Feldan Therapeutics:
Feldan Therapeutics has developed a patented peptide-based technology platform, the Feldan Shuttle, which enables fast and safe intracellular delivery. The company's mission is to develop leading-edge therapeutic applications based on its proprietary platform, as demonstrated by its current pipeline of clinical programs taking advantage of the unique characteristics of the Shuttle.
About Paul McCray :
Paul McCray, MD, is a professor at the University of Iowa and executive vice chair in the Stead Family Department of Pediatrics (Division of Pulmonary Medicine, Allergy & Immunology). Dr. McCray is a gene therapy expert and his research interests include airway epithelial cell biology, the pathogenesis and treatment of cystic fibrosis, and the development of integrating vector systems for the treatment of inherited diseases.
About the University of Iowa:
The University of Iowa is one of the United States premier public research universities with 33,564 students from 114 countries and all 50 states. Founded in 1847, it is the state's oldest institution of higher education and is located in Iowa City. A member of the Association of American Universities since 1909 and the Big Ten Conference since 1899, the UI is home to one of the largest and most acclaimed medical centers in the USA.
About the National Institute of Health:
NIH, a part of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, is the United States’ medical research agency — making important discoveries that improve health and save lives. NIH is the largest public funder of biomedical research in the world, investing more than USD $32 billion a year to enhance life, and reduce illness and disability. NIH-funded research has led to breakthroughs and new treatments, helping people live longer, healthier lives, and building the research foundation that drives discovery.
Reported in this publication was supported by the National Heart, Lung, And Blood Institute of the National Institutes of Health under Award Number UG3HL147366. The content is solely the responsibility of the authors and does not necessarily represent the official views of the National Institutes of Health.
For more information: www.feldan.com
Feldan Therapeutics: Francois-Thomas Michaud, PhD. Eng., Chief-executive officer, Feldan Therapeutics, Inc., T: +1 418-872-7277, firstname.lastname@example.org
University of Iowa: Jennifer Brown, Senior writer/editor | Marketing and Communications, University of Iowa Health Care, T: +1 319-356-7195, email@example.com
See the University of Iowa's announcement here: https://medicine.uiowa.edu/content/ui-team-wins-grant-improve-and-advance-genome-editing