Biopharmaceutical company Mogrify and Astellas Pharma have initiated a collaborative research agreement on in vivo regenerative medicine approaches to address sensorineural hearing loss.
Utilizing Mogrify’s proprietary direct cellular reprogramming platform, the collaboration will seek to identify novel combinations of transcription factors involved in cell differentiation to generate new cochlear hair cells. As part of the collaboration, Astellas Gene Therapies, a division of Astellas, is covering the research cost of the work as well as contributing its expertise in adeno-associated virus (AAV) based genetic medicine and translational capabilities to complete experiments in pre-clinical models. Mogrify will exploit its bioinformatic platform, screening and validation process to characterize potential therapeutic factors.
An estimated 1.57 billion people globally suffer from hearing loss, and US data suggests that over 10% have severe to profound sensorineural hearing loss in at least one ear. This degree of hearing loss significantly reduces quality of life and, with no drug treatments currently available, represents a large unmet need.
Dr Louise Modis, CSO, Mogrify, said: “Mogrify’s human regulatory network-centric approach is well placed to identify superior factor combinations, therefore increasing the efficiency of direct conversion toward the target cell type in the ear. Combined with Astellas’ capabilities for gene therapy and research of sensorineural, this provides a clear path for the development of a novel in vivo reprogramming therapy for sensorineural hearing loss.”