Oxford BioMedica has entered into a research and development collaboration with Mayo Clinic to develop a novel gene therapy for the treatment of chronic glaucoma. Under the terms of the agreement, Mayo Clinic and Oxford BioMedica will undertake pre-clinical studies to establish the feasibility of treating glaucoma using Oxford BioMedica's proprietary LentiVector gene delivery technology expressing a COX-2 gene and a PGF-2alpha receptor gene in order to reduce intraocular pressure. The collaboration includes an option for exclusive US rights to license Mayo Clinic's glaucoma technology, which Oxford BioMedica can exercise upon completion of pre-clinical studies under confidential terms agreed by Mayo Clinic and Oxford BioMedica.
The collaboration builds on earlier pre-clinical research, conducted by Eric Poeschla M.D., Mayo Clinic and his research team, which has established initial proof-of-concept for this approach to treating chronic glaucoma.
Dr. Eric Poeschla at Mayo Clinic, USA, commented: "Numerous aspects of glaucoma are favorable for this approach. The disease's lifelong persistence and the incomplete efficacy and adherence seen with current treatment methods are two of the main problems that make achieving a sustained therapeutic effect via gene therapy an appealing prospect. In addition, the target tissues involved in regulating intraocular pressure are relatively small and confined, which enhances gene delivery feasibility. Finally, we have shown that the approach causes sustained reduction in intraocular pressure in pre-clinical models. We are pleased to collaborate with Oxford BioMedica on research and clinical translation for the treatment of glaucoma."