Wednesday, 21 October 2020

Daiichi Sankyo commences gene therapy research to restore vision

14 April 2020 | News

The performance of GtCCR4 protein will be further enhanced and its applicability in gene therapy verified

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Japan based Daiichi Sankyo Company, Limited, Mitsubishi UFJ Capital Co., Ltd. and Nagoya Institute of Technology have announced that they have commenced open innovation research concerning a gene therapy for restoring vision.

In a project under TaNeDS, Daiichi Sankyo’s open competition grant program for joint drug discovery research, the laboratory led by Professor Hideki Kandori of Life Science and Applied Chemistry, Graduate School of Engineering, Nagoya Institute of Technology discovered that a highly active, novel photo-responsive protein (GtCCR4) could be applied to the restoration of vision. In the research, the performance of GtCCR4 will be further enhanced and its applicability in gene therapy verified, with the aim of developing an innovatory gene therapy for patients who have lost their vision due to retinitis pigmentosa, for which there is a high unmet medical need.

To carry out the research, which will be a NITech-certified venture, a new company called OiDE OptoEye, Inc. has been established and wholly funded by the OiDE Fund Investment Limited Partnership operated by Mitsubishi UFJ Capital.

If the pre-agreed goals of the three-year joint research are achieved, Daiichi Sankyo will purchase all of the stock of OptoEye in order to continue research for the project on its own. After a successful product launch, Daiichi Sankyo will pay considerations to NITech in the form of royalties.

Daiichi Sankyo and Mitsubishi UFJ Capital plan to continue to carry out further open innovation projects to develop new drug discovery platform technologies.

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