September 5, 2008
Neurologix Licenses Key Gene From Aegera Therapeutics
Neurologix, a biotechnology company engaged in the development of gene therapies for the brain and central nervous system, and Aegera Therapeutics, a private clinical stage company focused on oncology and neuropathic pain, have executed an exclusive license agreement.
Pursuant to the agreement, Neurologix has exclusively licensed the worldwide rights, excluding China, for the use of the x-linked inhibitor of apoptosis protein (XIAP) gene for therapeutic or prophylactic purposes in the treatment of Huntington's disease.XIAP is a potent inhibitor of caspases, a family of proteins that are key executors of apoptosis, and therefore it may offer utility as a therapeutic neuroprotective factor.
In preclinical studies, Neurologix scientists have demonstrated that a mutated form of the XIAP gene delivered by an adeno-associated virus (AAV) vector can not only slow the disease, but actually normalize motor deficits associated with the disease when introduced into the brain of mice harboring the same mutation found in humans using standard neurosurgical techniques.
John Mordock, president and CEO of Neurologix, said: "Obtaining the rights to this intellectual property represents an important step in developing a novel therapeutic product for the treatment of this terrible and currently untreatable disease. We have been very encouraged by our preclinical results to date, which demonstrate that XIAP may not only modify the progression of cell death, but may potentially reverse neuronal dysfunction as well."