Morphogenesis, Inc and the Cell and Gene Therapy Group at Karolinska Institutet Announce Collaborati
Tuesday, September 11, 2018
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Morphogenesis, Inc and the Cell and Gene Therapy Group at Karolinska Institutet Announce Collaboration to Develop Targeted Immunotherapies for the Treatment of Cancer
TAMPA, Fla. – (September 11, 2018) – Morphogenesis, Inc., a Tampa, FL-based immunotherapy company, and the Cell and Gene Therapy Group, Department of Medicine, Huddinge at Karolinska Institutet (KI) in Sweden today announced the commencement of a two and a half year collaboration combining Morphogenesis’ gene therapy with the exosome-mediated delivery technology developed by the KI Department of Medicine.
Dr. Evren Alici, the KI lead, will use Morphogenesis’ proprietary gene therapy to develop injectable next generation exosome-mediated in vivo cancer therapies. “Exosomes are small vesicles secreted by nearly all cells. Increasingly, exosomes are being recognized as potential therapeutics because they play an important role in intercellular communication,” he explained.
The Swedish-based KI team and Morphogenesis have a mutual interest in using targeted exosomes to deliver gene therapy payloads to otherwise inaccessible patient tumors. The initial phase of the project will focus on the treatment of Multiple Myeloma, a type of blood cancer that affects plasma cells.
Patricia Lawman, Morphogenesis CEO, remarked on the collaboration saying, “This collaboration brings together two amazing technology platforms that could open up a non-invasive, non-toxic and targeted approach for treating hard to access tumors. If we’re successful, this new type of immunotherapy will have far reaching implications beyond myeloma, meaning we can treat virtually any type of cancer by generating a patient-specific vaccine right in the patient.”
Morphogenesis has enjoyed other successful collaborations involving its patented technologies. In a recent project with the University of Florida, the company’s microbead technology was used to develop a prototype cell-separation device to sort rare cells from complex biological samples. And in Tampa, FL, the Moffitt Cancer Center tested the company’s gene therapy in pre-clinical studies in preparation for a human melanoma clinical trial commencing this month.
Dr. Alici commented “We are excited to develop and test a novel therapeutic approach for patients with Multiple Myeloma in collaboration with Morphogenesis. We believe that the data generated by this collaboration will help us elucidate promising but previously untested strategies to overcome immune evasion by malignant myeloma cells.”
The strategic collaboration is led by Morphogenesis President, Michael Lawman, PhD, Chief Scientific Officer, Michael Shamblott, PhD and KI’s Evren Alici, MD, PhD and Carin Dahlberg, PhD.
About Morphogenesis, Inc. - Morphogenesis, an emerging biotech company, is developing “off-the-shelf” personalized immunotherapies for the treatment of cancer. The Company’s patented immunotherapy is based on a single bacterial gene that when expressed on the surface of a patient’s tumor cells, educates the immune system to target the patient’s unique set of tumor antigens (neoantigens) without toxic-effects. Year on year, Morphogenesis continues to reach major milestones towards its goal of bringing their gene therapy to human cancer patients. Last year, Morphogenesis augmented its portfolio with three US patent awards and made multiple applications for worldwide patent protection. These patents are an important component of Morphogenesis’ exclusive intellectual property portfolio that includes some 30 issued patents and patent applications.For more information visit www.morphogenesis-inc.com.
About Karolinska Institutet - Karolinska Institutet is one of the world’s leading medical universities. Its vision is to significantly contribute to the improvement of human health. Karolinska Institutet accounts for the single largest share of all academic medical research conducted in Sweden and offers the country’s broadest range of education in medicine and health sciences. The Nobel Assembly at Karolinska Institutet selects the Nobel laureates in Physiology or Medicine.