Pharma Focus Asia

Hoth Therapeutics and North Carolina State University Enter License Agreement for Gene Therapy

Wednesday, November 27, 2019

Hoth Therapeutics, Inc., a biopharmaceutical company focused on developing new generation therapies for dermatological disorders such as atopic dermatitis, chronic wounds, psoriasis and acne, today announced it has entered  into a licensing agreement with North Carolina State University (NC State) to study NC State's Exon Skipping Approach for Treating Allergic Diseases.

This Exon Skipping Approach was developed by Dr. Glenn Cruse, Principal Investigator and Assistant Professor in the Department of Molecular Biomedical Sciences at the NC State College of Veterinary Medicine. During Dr. Cruse's research, a new approach for the technique of antisense oligonucleotide-mediated exon skipping to specifically target and down-regulate IgE receptor expression in mast cells was identified. These findings set a breakthrough for allergic diseases as they are driven by the activation of mast cells and the release of mediators in response to IgE-directed antigens.

Mr. Robb Knie, Chief Executive Officer of Hoth, commented, "This new collaboration will allow us to leverage this invention from the renowned expertise of Dr. Glenn Cruse and his scientific team at North Carolina State University.  We look forward to seeing how their work advances and what this might mean for patients suffering from undesirable steroid side effects who need an alternate treatment for asthma and other allergic diseases."

The high-affinity IgE receptor (FcεRI) plays a central role in the initiation of allergic responses. The research project looks to target novel genes, which are critical for surface IgE receptor expression. The project will utilize splice-switching oligonucleotides (SSOs) to force expression of a truncated isoform of the target genes to reduce expression of FcεRI in mouse asthma models.

Through this collaborative project, NCSU looks to establish the most effective approach for targeting genes that regulate surface expression of FcεRI in mast cells that mediate allergic airway inflammation. The study will be administering SSOs for the target genes, to optimize delivery and examine the best therapeutic approach.

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