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Evox Therapeutics reaches gene therapy agreement

Partnership with Icahn School of Medicine will involve developing exoAAV vectors for heart disease patients.

Evox Therapeutics, an exosome therapeutics company, has announced a collaboration agreement with the New York-based Icahn School of Medicine.

The partnership will involve developing exosome-encapsulated AAV (exoAAV) vectors as a novel gene delivery technology with a view to improving therapies for heart disease.

The organisations will also concentrate on long-term challenges in cardiovascular medicine, including the effective and safe delivery of genetic drugs to cardiomyocytes.

By enhancing the precision of gene delivery to heart muscle cells while also navigating the immune response, exoAAV technology could potentially boost the use of gene therapy in the cardiovascular disease area.

Susmita Sahoo, associate professor of medicine, cardiology at Icahn Mount Sinai, has been researching the use of exosomes in gene therapy for many years, and her group’s findings were recently published in the cardiovascular disease journal Circulation.

Indeed, the Evox and Icahn Mount Sinai collaboration further develops this foundation by combining Evox’s exosome technology with Icahn Mount Sinai’s understanding of gene delivery.

Dr Sahoo was enthusiastic about what the partnership could yield: “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.”

Dr Antonin de Fougerolles, chief executive officer of Evox, explained: “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.”

He added: “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.

“We believe that we can play an important role in advancing this important research toward clinical impact.”