NIH five-year grant will support IND-enabling studies on a molecule that delivers and expresses the human atonal gene.

The National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders awarded GenVec $1,125,000. The funding will help the company develop a gene-based therapy to treat severe balance disorders.

Preclinical research reportedly demonstrated that delivery of the human atonal gene utilizing GenVec’s adenovector technologies can regenerate lost sensory hair cells and revive inner ear function. The goal of the NIH grant is to translate these research results into an IND application for the treatment of aminoglycoside-induced bilateral vestibular hypofunction (BVH).

GenVec will receive the grant over five years to support preclinical research in collaboration with Hinrich Staecker, M.D., Ph.D., University of Kansas Medical Center. Research will focus on the advancement of a lead candidate to deliver and express the human atonal gene, generation of materials for preclinical testing, and generation of additional preclinical data to support an IND filing.

Additionally, work under the grant will explore the use of advanced-generation adenovectors that further enhance delivery, selectivity, and potency of the vector system.

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