The collaboration will work on developing exosome-encapsulated AAV (exoAAV) vectors as a novel gene delivery technology aimed at improving treatments for heart disease.
Together, Evox and Icahn Mount Sinai are focused on tackling a long-standing challenge in cardiovascular medicine, namely the safe and effective delivery of genetic medicines to cardiomyocytes.
By enhancing the precision of gene delivery to heart muscle cells and evading the immune response, this novel exoAAV technology has the potential to ‘redefine the use of gene therapy’ in the cardiovascular disease field.
Susmita Sahoo, associate professor of medicine, cardiology at Icahn Mount Sinai, has been exploring the use of exosomes in gene therapy for a number of years and her group’s findings were published in the cardiovascular disease journal Circulation last month.
The agreement between Evox and Icahn Mount Sinai builds on this initial phase of work by combining Evox’s exosome technology and capabilities with Icahn Mount Sinai’s understanding of gene delivery and expertise in cardiovascular research and clinical translation.
Dr. Antonin de Fougerolles, CEO of Evox, said: “This project is a significant step for Evox as it expands the reach of exosome-mediated delivery of genetic medicines to another organ outside of the liver. We believe that we can play an important role in advancing this important research toward clinical impact.”
“The work done by Dr. Sahoo and colleagues has already demonstrated that exosomes can significantly improve the in vivo delivery of AAV gene therapy to cardiomyocytes and could do so even in the presence of high levels of neutralising anti-AAV antibodies, thus offering the possibility of an exosome-mediated gene therapy that could be used to treat all patients irrespective of their immunological status.”
Dr. Sahoo added: “We are excited to work with Evox to advance this research. We hope to unlock the therapeutic potential of exosome-encapsulated AAVs, which could represent a transformative step in gene therapy and a major breakthrough in the treatment of heart diseases."