RheoGene Grants Ichor Medical Systems a Commercial License to Develop a Regulated Gene Therapy for Multiple Sclerosis Using the RheoSwitch® Therapeutic System

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RheoGene, Inc., announced today that it has granted a commercial license to Ichor Medical Systems for use of its RheoSwitch® Therapeutic System (RTS) in combination with Ichor Medical Systems’ proprietary TriGrid™ Delivery System electroporation technology to develop a gene therapy product for multiple sclerosis. The agreement also grants Ichor an option to use RTS in two additional indications. Ichor has also granted an option for RheoGene to license Ichor’s TriGrid™ Delivery System to develop proprietary therapeutics.

RheoGene, Inc., announced today that it has granted a commercial license to Ichor Medical Systems for use of its RheoSwitch® Therapeutic System (RTS) in combination with Ichor Medical Systems’ proprietary TriGrid™ Delivery System electroporation technology to develop a gene therapy product for multiple sclerosis. The agreement also grants Ichor an option to use RTS in two additional indications.

RheoGene’s RheoSwitch® Therapeutic System (RTS) is a safe and effective means to regulate both the level (dose) and timing of therapeutic gene expression using an orally administered Activator Drug. In addition to therapeutic dosing, RTS will provide the patient with an unprecedented safety mechanism that allows gene expression to be completely shut off in the event of adverse side effects, simply through withdrawal of the Activator Drug.

Electroporation uses the propagation of electric fields to greatly increase the uptake of DNA drugs by cells. Although this technique has been widely used in research laboratories, the development of clinical products based on this technology has been hindered by the lack of a simple, reliable, and effective means for procedure administration. Ichor’s TriGrid™ Delivery System integrates several patented technologies, into a simple handheld device that is designed to enable safe, efficient, and reproducible DNA drug delivery with minimal operator training.

Under this agreement, Ichor has the option to develop an exclusive, Ichor-proprietary formulation for the RTS Activator Drug now under development by RheoGene, or Ichor may opt to have RheoGene develop an Ichor-exclusive Activator Drug for its proprietary gene therapy products.

Ichor has also granted an option for RheoGene to license Ichor’s TriGrid™ Delivery System to develop proprietary therapeutics.

“We are excited about the opportunity to work with Ichor, a leading developer of electroporation-mediated human gene therapy,” said Thomas Tillett, RheoGene President and CEO. “The combination of Ichor’s proprietary DNA delivery technology and RheoGene’s RTS gene regulation system will enable highly safe, effective and controlled delivery of therapeutic genes to patients with serious unmet medical needs. This collaboration provides RheoGene with a near-term opportunity to introduce the RTS system into the clinic.”

“We anticipate that regulation of gene expression with RheoGene’s RTS system will greatly enhance the safety and functionality of a number of our DNA drug candidates,” said Drew Hannaman, Vice President -- Research and Development of Ichor Medical Systems. “We also expect that the combination of Ichor and RheoGene technologies will accelerate clinical testing and subsequent commercialization of DNA-based protein delivery for a broad range of indications.”

Financial terms were not disclosed.

About RheoGene

RheoGene is dedicated to unlocking the power of cell and gene therapy™. RheoGene’s proprietary RheoSwitch® Therapeutic System (RTS) and DirectIt™ recombinase platforms are the keys to safe, targeted and regulated cell and gene therapies that deliver the right dose- to the right place- at the right time. RheoGene also provides customized RheoSwitch™ inducible gene expression and AttSite™ recombinase products for pharmaceutical discovery and development and biotherapeutics production. RheoGene Inc. is a wholly owned affiliate of the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center with operations in Norristown PA and Pittsburgh PA. For more information, visit http://www.rheogene.com.

About Ichor

Ichor Medical Systems, Inc. is a private company developing products based on the in vivo application of electroporation. Ichor’s proprietary TriGrid™ Delivery System uses electrical fields to dramatically increase DNA drug delivery efficiency. This approach employs a device-based system to enhance the delivery of virtually any DNA vaccine or therapeutic protein. By enabling the effective administration of this class of drugs, the company is leveraging the substantial investments made by others in the DNA drug sector to develop high-margin integrated products. The company’s initial development efforts are focused on the integration of the TriGrid™ Delivery System with existing DNA drug candidates for which initial safety and efficacy have been characterized. These drug candidates target cancer, autoimmune diseases and infectious diseases.

For additional information, call (858) 550-2022 or visit http://www.ichorms.com.

Media Contact:         

Michele Baum

412-647-3555

baummd @ msx.upmc.edu

For Ichor:         

May de las Alas

mdelasalas @ ichorms.com

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