Genprex (NASDAQ: GNPX), today announced that Dr. George K. Gittes, MD of the University of Pittsburgh, the lead researcher that developed the company’s potentially curative diabetes gene therapy, was awarded a grant of $2.59 million from the National Institutes of Health (“NIH”) National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases. According to the update, the grant will assist Dr. Gittes’ development for his research project titled, “Alpha Cell Conversion to Beta Cells in Non-human Primates” and build upon his accumulating groundbreaking gene therapy work toward finding a cure for diabetes. “We are excited to receive this funding to support our research in diabetic primates as we move toward human clinical trials,” Dr. George Gittes, Co-Scientific Director and Professor of Surgery at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center (“UPMC”) Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh and the lead researcher behind the diabetes gene therapy. “We saw encouraging data in our preclinical mice studies, where the gene therapy reprogrammed pancreatic cells to restore normal blood glucose levels in diabetic mice for approximately four months, which could translate to decades in humans. More recently, preliminary results in non-human primates (monkeys) has also been very promising.”
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About Genprex, Inc.
Genprex is a clinical-stage gene therapy company developing potentially life-changing technologies for patients with cancer and diabetes. Genprex’s technologies are designed to administer disease-fighting genes to provide new treatment options for large patient populations with cancer and diabetes who currently have limited treatment options. Genprex works with world-class institutions and collaborators to in-license and develop drug candidates to further its pipeline of gene therapies in order to provide novel treatment approaches. The company’s lead product candidate, “GPX-001” (“quaratusugene ozeplasmid”), is being evaluated as a treatment for non-small cell lung cancer (“NSCLC”). GPX-001 has a multimodal mechanism of action that has been shown to interrupt cell signaling pathways that cause replication and proliferation of cancer cells; re-establish pathways for apoptosis, or programmed cell death, in cancer cells; and modulate the immune response against cancer cells. GPX-001 has also been shown to block mechanisms that create drug resistance. In January 2020, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration granted Fast Track Designation for GPX-001 for NSCLC in combination therapy with osimertinib (AstraZeneca’s “Tagrisso(R)”) for patients with “EFGR” mutations whose tumors progressed after treatment with osimertinib alone. For more information, please visit the company’s website at www.Genprex.com
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