AVITA Medical (ASX:AVH) and scientists at the Gates Center for Regenerative Medicine at the University of Colorado School of Medicine have announced a preclinical research collaboration to establish proof-of-concept and explore further development of a spray-on treatment of genetically modified cells for patients with epidermolysis bullosa (EB).
The partnership will pair AVITA Medical’s patented Spray-On Skin Cells technology and expertise with the Gates Center’s combined reprogramming and gene-editing technology to allow cells to function properly.
Under the terms of the Sponsored Research Agreement (SRA), AVITA Medical retains the option to exclusively license technologies emerging from the partnership for further development and commercialization.
The Gates Center team is further supported by the EB Research Partnership in New York, the Los Angeles-based EB Medical Research Foundation, the London-based Cure EB Charity and government grants, in a collaborative effort to rapidly develop and translate this technology to the clinic for meaningful impact on patient lives.
“The Gates Center is a leader in developing therapeutic approaches for genetic skin diseases. Researchers at the Gates Center have developed a powerful new approach for treating genetic skin disorders and improving the lives of patients with epidermolysis bullosa,” said Dr Mike Perry, CEO of AVITA Medical and adjunct professor at the Gates Center for Regenerative Medicine.
“We look forward to collaborating with the team at the Gates Center on the expanded use of our technology. This agreement marks an important milestone in AVITA’s mission to harness the potential of regenerative medicine to address unmet medical needs across a broad range of dermatological indications, including genetic disorders of the skin.”
Epidermolysis bullosa is a group of rare and incurable skin disorders caused by mutations in genes encoding structural proteins resulting in skin fragility and blistering, leading to chronic wounds and, in some sub-types, an increased risk of squamous cell carcinoma or death. There are no approved curative therapies, and current treatment is palliative - focused primarily on pain and nutritional management, itching relief, wound care, and bandaging.
“It’s very exciting to partner with AVITA Medical to help advance our epidermolysis bullosa program,” said Director of the Gates Center for Regenerative Medicine Dr Dennis Roop. “We’re looking forward to exploring a novel approach to delivering gene-edited skin cells to patients that addresses current treatment challenges.”
“We believe that Spray-On Skin™ Cells technology combined with our genetically corrected cells has the potential to be game changing in the treatment of this disease. This combination could reduce time to treatment, lower manufacturing complexity, reduce costs and improve patient outcomes,” said Dr Ganna Bilousova, assistant professor of dermatology, who is a co-principal investigator on this research program.