Grant Award Details
- To file an IND application for a Phase I clinical trial using HexA/HexB expressing-autologous hematopoietic stem cells to treat Tay-Sachs disease.
Grant Application Details
- Hematopoetic stem cell gene therapy for the treatment of Tay-Sachs disease
Therapeutic Candidate or Device
Autologous hematopoietic stem cells transduced with a HexA/HexB expressing lentiviral vector
The transplanted gene modified autologous hematopoietic stem cells will engraft in the bone marrow and start producing HexA/HexB expressing immune progeny. Microglia, which establish residence in the brain, will deliver functional beta-hexosaminidase enzyme to affected neurons and restore degradation of GM2-gangliosides.
Unmet Medical Need
Currently there is no cure for Tay-Sachs disease. Only palliative care is available. If successful, our therapeutic candidate will restore beta-hexosaminidase activity in the CNS of affected patients and halt disease progression.
To submit an IND to the FDA for a Phase I trial
Major Proposed Activities
- Evaluate the in vivo toxicity of HexA/HexB vector transduced cells in NRG mice including pathology, tumorigenesis, and vector copy number
- Manufacture and certify a clinical lot of HexA/HexB lentiviral vector for use in a future Phase I clinical trial
- Perform a manufacturing dry run for a mock drug product and submit an IND to the FDA for a future Phase I clinical trial
Currently, there is no cure or corrective therapy for Tay-Sachs disease, and supportive care can prolong the lives of patients only marginally. The successful development of this therapy will not only help patients with TS but will demonstrate the use case of this therapeutic approach for other monogenic neurodegenerative diseases.