Paris, France and Saint Gallen, Switzerland – September 13, 2022 – Eligo Bioscience, a gene editing company, and Kantonsspital St. Gallen, one of Switzerland’s leading hospitals, announced today their strategic alliance to develop a gene editing therapy for inflammatory cardiac diseases induced by bacterial mimicry. The collaboration builds on the foundational research conducted by Prof. Dr. Burkhard Ludewig and colleagues and published in Science (Gil-Cruz, et al, 2019), and leverages Eligo’s proprietary technology for in vivo gene editing of the microbiome.
The Ludewig group demonstrated that a specific bacterial peptide mimics a human peptide and induces a pathogenic T cell response, which plays a key aggravating role in acute myocarditis and its often life-long debilitating sequelae. When the bacterial peptide mimic was eliminated in a preclinical mouse model, the acute myocarditis induced was effectively ablated, opening a valuable and potentially disease-modifying approach to treating this patient population. Indeed, symptomatic treatments are currently the only therapeutic options available to acute myocarditis patients, a significant proportion of whom develop severe sequelae, including cardiomyopathy.
Eligo’s proprietary in vivo gene editing technology has the potential to precisely modify genes from resident bacteria encoding disease-driving peptide mimics, rendering these peptides non- immunogenic and thereby eliminating an important disease-aggravating factor. This approach can uniquely address key unmet needs in microbiome-related diseases by removing bacterial triggers of disease while maintaining commensal bacteria that are essential to our health.
The alliance between Eligo Bioscience and Kantonsspital St. Gallen will accelerate the development of novel therapies for inflammatory cardiac diseases by combining Kantonsspital St. Gallen’s deep disease and patient insights and access to key patient samples, data and animal models, with Eligo’s unique gene editing platform. Eligo’s platform technology is powered to specifically deliver base-editing enzymes only to those resident bacteria that harbor peptide mimics using proprietary delivery particles. Eligo Bioscience owns the first patents covering in situ base editing of the microbiome as well as a broad patent portfolio to support its platform technology, including the use of CRISPR to kill bacteria.
“With this strategic collaboration with Kantonsspital St. Gallen, Eligo further consolidates its leadership in the field of microbiome gene editing and applies its unique platform to address the underlying cause of inflammatory cardiac diseases, for which to date only symptomatic treatments are available,” said Dr. Xavier Duportet, Chief Executive Officer of Eligo Bioscience. “We are delighted to partner with leaders in the field of bacterial mimicry to advance first-in-class and valuable therapeutic approaches.”
“This alliance with Eligo Bioscience is an important milestone for the research at our hospital as it will lead to the therapeutic application of our foundational discoveries in patients with high unmet need,” said Prof. Dr. Burkhard Ludewig, Head of the Institute of Immunobiology and the Medical Research Center at Kantonsspital St. Gallen.
About Eligo Bioscience
Eligo Bioscience is the world leader in microbiome gene editing therapy and is advancing a highly differentiated pipeline of precision medicines to address unmet medical needs in inflammation, autoimmunity and oncology caused by the expression of specific deleterious bacterial genes by our microbiome.
Eligo was founded by scientists from The Rockefeller University, where CRISPR-based antimicrobials were invented, and by scientists from MIT. Eligo was named a Technology Pioneer by the World Economic Forum, has received venture capital funding from Khosla Ventures and Seventure Partners, and non-dilutive funding from GlaxoSmithKline, the European Commission, CARB-X, and Bpifrance.
About Kantonsspital St. Gallen
The Kantonsspital St. Gallen is one of the largest hospitals in Switzerland and serves as the major tertiary referral center for Eastern Switzerland. More than 6,000 employees at the Kantonsspital St. Gallen strive to deliver high-level care and treatment according to evidence-based standards. The first-class medical services are complemented and supported by strong basic, translational and clinical research to provide patients with access to validated interventions and novel treatments.
For more information about Eligo, visit https://www.eligo.bio/
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