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GEN News Highlights : Mar 29, 2010

Helmholtz Zentrum M√ľnchen and Sirion Biotech Partner to Study Lentiviruses in Lymphoma

Companies will develop cell lines for improved virus production and fine-tune vectors for more specific targeting.

Helmholtz Zentrum München and Sirion Biotech are allying to develop new therapeutic approaches against lymphoid tumors. With a two-year €500,000 grant (about $672,369) from the Federal Ministry for Economics and Technology, the partners will seek to further lentiviral vector systems to better understand the disease mechanisms of this cancer form and to create new treatments.

Helmholtz Zentrum München and Sirion Biotech seek to optimize the use of lentiviruses as gene vectors for hematopoietic cells. “We want to specifically refine the lentiviral vectors to target the tumor cell markers,” explains Nataša Anastasov, who is in charge of the project at the Institute of Radiation Biology of Helmholtz Zentrum München.

To achieve this the researchers will first develop new cell lines with improved binding characteristics for virus production. Sirion Biotech, founded in 2006, focuses on producing genetically modified cells and providing technology related to viral vector systems.