Vancouver, Canada - enGene, Inc. announced today that the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office has issued US Patent 7,335,646, which grants enGene claim to a method to induce endocrine cells located in the gastrointestinal tract to synthesize and secrete different therapeutic proteins for the treatment of diabetes and obesity. This patent further strengthens enGene's position in using its Gut Endocrine cell Modification System (GEMS™) gene transfer technology to induce gut K-cells to produce insulin in a regulated fashion in subjects with insulin-dependent diabetes.
enGene's GEMS™ technology utilizes the therapeutic protein production capacity of existing, normal, healthy cells in a small, targeted area of the duodenum by delivering a gene construct packaged in a novel non-viral vector. Once the protein is produced, it is secreted into the patient's bloodstream providing the desired therapeutic effect. The Company has demonstrated in experimental animals that GEMS™-Insulin has the potential to re-establish a functioning, self-regulating in vivo insulin control system by producing and releasing insulin, in the proper quantity and at the appropriate time, to regulate blood glucose levels. Other potential applications for GEMS™ include obesity, gastrointestinal disorders, anemia, and hemophilia.
"Protein drugs are important medicines, but difficulty in their administration limits clinical development and market acceptance. enGene's GEMS offers the potential to deliver therapeutic proteins in a manner that better replicates the natural protein secretion process," said Anthony T. Cheung, PhD, enGene's Chief Scientific Officer and a co-inventor of the GEMS technology. "enGene's GEMS technology is revolutionary in that it can provide a safe and non-systemic delivery of a non-viral DNA vector to achieve persistent and regulated therapeutic protein production into the circulation or locally in the intestine.Â Â This will provide promising new treatment options for a number of debilitating disorders."
"This patent, together with several others in enGene's portfolio, further protects our exclusivity in utilizing the gastrointestinal tract to produce therapeutic proteins, peptides and hormones." said Eric A. Adams, President and Chief Executive Officer of enGene. "This strengthens not only our internal development programs but enables us to explore partnership opportunities for our platform."
Additional information about the Company, as well as scientific information related to the above presentation, is available at www.engeneinc.com.