First clinical trials planned for 2010.

Amarna Therapeutics and The Netherlands Organization for Applied Scientific Research (TNO) signed an agreement to further develop Amarna’s viral gene delivery platform, SVac. TNO will develop novel methods for the manufacture, formulation, and testing of the SV40-based system.

Amarna says that the partnership will enable it to start clinical trials with one of its lead therapeutics in 2010.  The collaboration will be funded in part by a co-financing initiative aimed at developing innovative technologies. Amarna is initially exploiting SVac for the development of a vaccine against multiple sclerosis followed by a breast cancer vaccine.

Amarna claims that the SVac platform is nonimmunogenic in humans, making it the only vector system suitable for treating immunity-associated diseases by reprogramming immune responses and for genetic disorders by preventing immune responses to introduced therapeutic genes.  The vector is also safe, stable, and amenable to large-scale production, as the proprietary SuperVero cells used to replicate the SV40 particles can be grown in suspension culture systems using commercial human and animal protein-free media, the company adds.

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