Avellino Labs Announces Collaboration with Ulster University on Cornea Gene Therapy Program

Multiyear collaboration to develop ophthalmic gene therapy platform targeting hereditary corneal dystrophies with potential for wider application in ophthalmology

MENLO PARK, Calif., June 6, 2016 /CNW/ -- Avellino Labs, global leader in genetic science concerning corneal health, today announced that it has entered into a multiyear collaborative research and intellectual property agreement with Ulster University, located in Northern Ireland, to develop new gene editing technologies and create a therapeutic platform applicable to a wide range of inherited ophthalmic conditions. The alliance aims to validate the latest state-of-the-art gene therapy technology using CRISPR genome editing, as a new therapeutic platform in ophthalmology.

The agreement between Avellino Labs and Ulster University complements the recent appointment of Tara Moore, PhD, as Director of R&D at Avellino Labs.  Professor Moore and her team at Ulster University are the recognized leaders in transformational research related to CRISPR gene editing of mutations associated with epithelial and stromal corneal dystrophies.

Avellino Labs intends to leverage its global footprint in ophthalmic DNA testing to accelerate the transition of CRISPR gene editing from the lab to human clinical use.  Gene Lee, Chairman and Founder of Avellino Labs, stated, "We were the first movers in DNA testing for genetic diseases of the cornea; we are now looking to be the global leader in gene therapy for corneal diseases by partnering genetic diagnostics and therapeutics for personalized patient eye care."

Tara Moore, PhD, concurrently Director of R&D at Avellino Labs and Director of the Biomedical Research Institute at Ulster University, commented, "My laboratory team and I are committed to developing groundbreaking methods in the cell and gene therapy field. Advances in gene editing technologies with an ever growing list of CAS9 variants and rapid advances in delivery techniques are enabling us to translate our research into a viable gene therapy platform."

About Avellino Labs

Avellino Labs is global leader providing genetic testing services for corneal health.  Avellino Labs' proprietary genetic diagnostics system provides fast, safe and affordable DNA analysis.  Currently, Avellino Labs' Universal Test detects the TGFBI mutations that are responsible for Granular Corneal Dystrophy type 1 (GCD1), Granular Corneal Dystrophy type 2 (GCD2), Lattice Corneal Dystrophy type 1 (LCD1), Reis-Bucklers Corneal Dystrophy (RBCD), and Thiel Behnke Corneal Dystrophy (TBCD).  Based on test results, patients and their physicians can make an informed decision when considering vision correction surgery.  The company continues to develop new applications for genetic analysis of various ocular conditions, with the ultimate goal of using gene editing technology to create a new therapeutic platform for treating inherited eye disease.

To learn more please visit www.avellinolab.com/us/ or follow us on Twitter @Avellinolab_USA

About Ulster University

Ranked in the top 3 per cent of universities worldwide, Ulster University is one of the top 150 global young universities under 50. Ulster University is a modern, forward-looking institution with student experience at the very heart of everything we do. Our high quality teaching, informed by world-leading research across key sectors, boosts the economy and has a positive impact on the lives of people around the world. Ulster University has an international reputation for biomedical sciences research and is ranked among the top five universities in the UK in terms of research power in this area with 100 per cent of its research rated 4 star world-leading.

For more information please visit www.ulster.ac.uk or follow us on Twitter @ulsteruni

Media Contact:
Paul Hook
Avellino Labs
Director of Marketing Communications
972.517.1784 / 214.356.4427 (mobile)
paula.hook@avellinolab.com

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SOURCE Avellino Labs

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