Treeway to collaborate on developing AAV5-GDNF gene therapy for amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS)

Rotterdam, December 7th 2015 – Treeway is pleased to announce a collaboration with the Cedars-Sinai Board of Governors Regenerative Medicine Institute for the development of AAV5-GDNF (TW002) gene therapy for amyotrophic lateral sclerosis.

Treeway, a biotech company founded by two ALS patients, obtained an exclusive license agreement from uniQure for the use of AAV5-GDNF earlier this year. GDNF has a promising clinical potential in ALS, but optimization of delivery to the site of action is required. AAV5-GDNF is a gene therapy with a novel administration modality for clinical use and is Treeway’s second product in development (TW002).

To advance the development of AAV5-GDNF gene therapy, Treeway will work with a research team led by Clive Svendsen, PhD, director of the Cedars-Sinai Board of Governors Regenerative Medicine Institute in Los Angeles. Svendsen is an expert in human neural stem cell biology and has specifically focused on using neural stem cells, modified to release GDNF, to treat ALS.

Treeway and Cedars-Sinai applied for a TREAT ALS™Drug Development Contract and received the $500,000 award. The Drug Development Contract, an initiative of The ALS association, was designed to rapidly bring promising potential therapeutics closer to clinical trials. The TREAT ALS™Drug Development grant will be used to start a preclinical study in which the safety and efficacy of TW002 in an ALS rat model will be assessed further. The preclinical studies are an important step in the development of TW002 for ALS.

Inez de Greef, CEO of Treeway, is pleased with the collaboration and says: “consistent with Treeway’s philosophy of ‘innovation by collaboration’ we believe that this research will help us to rapidly advance breakthrough science and further the goal of bringing new treatment approaches to ALS patients. We are grateful for the grant awarded by The ALS Association which enables us to jointly work on finding a cure for ALS.”

“The ALS Association is pleased to support funding for academic-industry partnerships to expedite therapy development for ALS”, commented Lucie Bruijn, Ph.D. MBA Chief Scientist from the ALS association.

About ALS
Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis, also known as Lou Gehrig’s Disease, is a relentless progressive neurodegenerative disease that causes muscle weakness, disability and eventually death, with a median survival of three years. To date, there is no cure for ALS.

Treeway B.V.
Treeway is a biotechnology company founded by entrepreneurs Bernard Muller and Robbert Jan Stuit, both diagnosed with ALS. Treeway’s strategy is founded on a cohesive combination of approaches, that together should provide the highest likelihood of bringing successful treatments for ALS to the patient in an efficient manner.

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