Technology evaluation: VEGF165 gene therapy, Valentis Inc.
Valentis Inc, formerly GeneMedicine, is developing a vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF165) non-viral gene therapy using its proprietary PINC polymer for plasmid condensation. Two physician-initiated phase II angioplasty trials are ongoing, one for treating peripheral vascular disease and one for treating coronary artery disease , . In February 2000, the trials were expected to be completed in the fourth quarter of 2000 ; however, in October 2000, it was reported that the trial for peripheral vascular disease would be completed in the first quarter of 2001 . In March 2000, Valentis initiated a trial incorporating Valentis's DOTMA-based cationic lipid gene delivery system and the VEGF165 gene with Eurogene's local collar-reservoir delivery device. The trial is designed to demonstrate that the VEGF165 gene, delivered locally to the outside surface of a blood vessel, will transfect and express in the smooth muscle cells of the vessel wall . In March 1999, Valentis was awarded with a Phase II SBIR grant of $686,260. The aim of grant was to advance the development of non-viral gene therapies for ischemia. Specifically, Valentis intended to select an optimal promoter to be used with the VEGF expression plasmid. Valentis also intended to evaluate the gene therapy system in a rabbit ischemia model and complete the necessary preclinical studies for submission of an IND .
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