CGT Catapult partnership to develop AAV gene therapies for dementia

The Cell and Gene Therapy Catapult (CGT Catapult) and the UK Dementia Research Institute (UK DRI) have partnered to drive the development of adeno-associated virus (AAV) based gene therapies for dementia.

According to CGT Catapult, dementia is one of the leading causes of mortality in the UK and while treatments are emerging and improving, with no effective treatment options currently available for neurodegenerative conditions, dementia-related deaths are continuing to increase.

The UK DRI’s role is to develop an understanding of the underlying biology of the diseases in question, including research into treatments that could potentially  benefit individuals at risk of or living with dementia.

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“CGTC will review the UKDRI AAV gene therapy portfolio and support the translation of a number of the programs towards the clinic by providing translational support to de-risk the projects and make them more robust investible opportunities,” a spokesperson for CGT Catapult told us.

“UK DRI will provide the portfolio in AAV gene therapies to the CGTC for the collaboration and will support with next steps of translation for each program, building upon the value provided by the CGTC on each project.”

After this, both companies will then jointly create detailed development plans for each specific project and possibly conduct early research activities to prepare assets for further and future investment. Furthermore, the spokesperson said that “the AAVs will be able to be manufactured on any platform.”

“Dementia is increasing, under-researched and has very limited treatment options. Cell and gene therapies have in the past shown to be highly effective in treatment areas where other therapies have had limited success. It is therefore vital that we fully explore how cell and gene therapies could be used to address this unmet medical need, and we look forward to working closely with the UK DRI to identify and accelerate the most promising therapies,” Matthew Durdy, CEO of CGT Catapult said.

Financial information has not been disclosed but the partnership is planned to last 18 months.