University-Industry Engagement Week

U of Utah and TikkunLev Therapeutics partnership seeks to accelerate heart-failure gene therapy

By David Schwartz
Published: March 14th, 2023

The University of Utah and gene therapy company TikkunLev Therapeutics have inked a new partnership to accelerate development of an innovative heart-failure gene therapy. The agreement includes both an exclusive worldwide license and a sponsored research program to support future FDA filings.

The technology being licensed and further investigated focuses on cBIN1, a molecule lost in heart failure that was discovered at the university’s Nora Eccles Harrison Cardiovascular Research and Training Institute (CVRTI) by professor Robin Shaw. That initial discovery led to a pursuit of gene therapy to regain the heart’s organization and function.

“When we first discovered cBIN1 we did not realize its potential to be a master regulator of heart cell internal organization and overall cardiac function. We are thrilled that it both helps failing hearts and recovers failing heart muscle,” Shaw said.

“TikkunLev Therapeutics is honored and privileged to be working with the University of Utah and CVRTI to bring their cBIN1 heart failure gene therapy innovation to the clinic,” said TikkunLev CEO Steve Rosen. “The experimental therapy has shown impressive performance in large animal studies that reverse heart failure.”

The partnership includes a sponsored research investment. “To support the program, TikkunLev will be investing approximately $13 million in a sponsored research program to support IND enabling studies,” Rosen said. He also noted that the company “will be establishing a presence in the Salt Lake City area and hope to add further momentum to the vibrant and growing biotechnology sector there.”

The agreement was facilitated by the university’s Partners for Innovation, Ventures, Outreach & Technology (PIVOT) Center.

Source: News Wise

Posted under: University-Industry Engagement Week