22 Sep 2008   |   News

AMT licenses Amgen gene for Parkinson’s disease therapy

Licensing deal

Gene therapy specialist Amsterdam Molecular Therapeutics, a spin-out from the Amsterdam Academic Medical Centre, The Netherlands, has obtained a licence from US biotech Amgen to use its GDNF (glial cell line–derived neurotrophic factor) gene in the development of a treatment for Parkinson’s disease.

The Dutch company says the combination of this gene with its proprietary adeno-associated viral delivery system could potentially lead to the development of a long-term treatment for the disease.

GDNF encodes for a protein that is necessary for the development and survival of nerve cells. In animal studies the gene has been shown to protect and enhance the function of dopamine-producing cells and Amsterdam Molecular Therapeutics believes that its gene-delivery platform may overcome problems in delivering GDNF to the brain.