Mogrify and Astellas collaborate for research on treatments for sensorineural hearing loss

pharmafile | July 5, 2022 | News story | Manufacturing and Production  

Mogrify and Astellas have announced a collaboration to conduct research on in vivo regenerative medicine approaches to address sensorineural hearing loss.

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 characterise potential therapeutic factors.

An approximate 1.57 billion people globally suffer from hearing loss, and US data show that over 10% have severe to profound sensorineural hearing loss in at least one ear. This represents a large unmet need, as there are no drug treatments currently available for the condition.

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.”

Dr Mathew Pletcher, Senior VP, Division Head of Gene Therapy Research & Technical Operations, Astellas, said: “In this collaboration, we will look to combine the unique delivery attributes of AAV-based gene therapy, with our deep translational capabilities in otology developed through our “Targeted Therapeutics for Auditory Regeneration”, and “Direct Reprogramming (Transdifferentiation)” initiatives. Through this collaboration, we will seek to address a significant unmet need in sensorineural hearing loss.”

Lina Adams

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