Tech Transfer eNews Blog

Genprex licenses potential diabetes cure from U of Pittsburgh


By Jesse Schwartz
Published: February 19th, 2020

Clinical-stage gene therapy company Genprex has entered into a licensing agreement with the University of Pittsburgh to advance a potential cure for Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes.

Developed by George Gittes at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center (UPMC) Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh, the licensed gene therapy works by reprogramming beta cells in the pancreas to restore their function, thereby replenishing insulin levels.

In studies of diabetic mice, the therapy restored normal blood glucose levels for about four months. According to Gittes, that time period could translate to decades in humans.

“One of the biggest advantages of this gene therapy is that it could eliminate the need for insulin replacement therapy for diabetic patients,” he says. “Lifting this huge burden for the millions of patients who must continuously monitor blood glucose levels and inject insulin daily would be a breakthrough in modern medicine. This therapy has the potential to truly disrupt the diabetes market.”

Through the license, Genprex will add the Pitt technology to its research and development pipeline in an effort to diversify its portfolio and expand its clinical development programs. The company will continue to focus on its immunogene therapies for cancer while developing the new treatment.

“We believe this diabetes gene therapy may potentially become a new treatment option for the millions of diabetes patients who now must take insulin replacement therapy, and it may be effective for patients who do not benefit sufficiently from that therapy,” says Rodney Varner, CEO of Genprex. “Even more moving, the diabetes gene therapy could hold the potential to provide long term effectiveness, or even be a cure, for diabetes patients.”

Source: Yahoo! Finance

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