Edinburgh, UK, 22nd June 2016 / Synpromics Ltd, the leading synthetic promoter company, is pleased to announce an extension to the original collaboration with uniQure announced in January 2015, which focused on the development of synthetic promoters with up-regulated liver cell specific activity suitable for gene expression using an AAV vector.

Synpromics has successfully met the project goals and produced synthetic promoters, of fewer than 250 base pairs, that show high levels of activity. Synpromics and uniQure have now agreed to extend the programme under which Synpromics will further apply its technology and know-how to create ultra-small synthetic promoters. Additionally, Synpromics has developed a proprietary vector screening technology which allows the in vivo screening of synthetic promoter candidates for specificity and activity.

Dr David Venables, CEO of Synpromics, commented, “We are delighted that the first collaboration with uniQure has produced such exciting results and has met its goals. With the agreed extension announced today we can further apply our technology to make shorter promoters and so increase the efficacy of gene therapy. Gene therapy is an exciting new therapeutic area and we are pleased to be able to make a significant contribution”

Ends

For further enquiries, please contact:

PR Contact:
Deborah Cockerill

Sciad Communications Ltd
T: +44 (0)7930 317729
E: deborah@sciad.com

Corporate Contact:
Dr David Venables, CEO

Synpromics Ltd
T: +44 (0)7825 323439
E: david.venables@synpromics.com 

Notes for Editors

About Synpromics Ltd

Synpromics is a private company focused on commercialising its proprietary technology in the emerging field of synthetic biology by developing customised synthetic promoters. In August 2015, Synpromics announced a £2.1million investment round led by Calculus Capital, a specialist in Enterprise Investment Scheme (EIS) funds.

Synpromics technology gives biological researchers, developers and manufacturers unprecedented control of gene expression through the ability to create a comprehensive portfolio of man-made DNA sequences. This is a highly disruptive technology as most of the currently used promoters are natural viral or gene specific promoters. Synpromics’ products comprise patented synthetic promoters that are designed to regulate genes in a highly specific manner.

Gene Therapy and Adeno-Associated Virus (AAV)

Gene therapy is the introduction of genetic material into a patient’s cells to replace missing genes, compensate for abnormal genes or make a beneficial protein. Genes are typically delivered into the cell using a carrier known as a vector.

Viruses are often used as vectors because they can effectively deliver a new gene by infecting a cell. Adeno-Associated Virus (AAV) is a small virus which infects human cells but does not cause disease. The ability of AAV to infect both dividing and non-dividing cells, together with its inability to replicate on its own and that it is unlikely to spread within the body, make it suitable for gene therapy applications.

AAV-based vectors have been shown to facilitate long-term therapeutic protein expression in humans which can result in long-lasting treatment for patients.