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New company to develop novel gene therapies
Date:2/12/2014

WORCESTER, MA UMass Medical School (UMMS) recognizes the launch today of Voyager Therapeutics, a gene therapy company founded by four world leaders in the fields of AAV gene therapy, RNA biology and neuroscience, to develop life-changing treatments for fatal and debilitating diseases of the central nervous system (CNS).

UMMS researchers Phillip D. Zamore, PhD, co-director of the RNA Therapeutics Institute, and Guangping Gao, PhD, director of the Gene Therapy Center, are two of the scientific founders.

Voyager Therapeutics will focus on an adeno-associated virus (AAV) approach to gene therapy, which has the potential to transform treatment for a wide range of CNS diseases with one-time therapies that may dramatically improve patients' lives. The company is committed to advancing the field of AAV gene therapy by innovating and investing in areas such as vector optimization and engineering, dosing techniques, and process development and production.

Voyager's scientific and clinical founders are leaders in the fields of AAV gene therapy, expressed RNA interference (RNAi) and neuroscience and include:

  • Krystof Bankiewicz, MD, PhD, a translational neurosurgeon and leader in AAV gene therapy who has brought multiple new AAV therapies to the clinic; he is the Kinetics Foundation Chair in Translational Research and a Professor in Residence of Neurological Surgery and Neurology at the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF).

  • Guangping Gao, PhD, a leading AAV researcher who has played a key role in the discovery and characterization of new AAV serotypes; he is director of the UMMS Gene Therapy Center & Vector Core; scientific director of the UMMS-China Program Office; professor of microbiology & physiology systems and the Penelope Booth Rockwell Professor in Biomedical Research.

  • Mark Kay, MD, PhD, a leading researcher in the fields of gene therapy and AAV biology, including the identification of new AAV c
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Contact: Lisa Larson
lisa.larson@umassmed.edu
508-856-2000
University of Massachusetts Medical School
Source:Eurekalert

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