Ark Therapeutics Group Buys Lymphatix
LICR spin-off company Lymphatix has been acquired by Ark Therapeutics Group, a biotech company that develops treatments for vascular disease and cancer.
Lymphatix was formed in 2003 in conjunction with Licentia Oy, the licensing arm of Helsinki University. Lymphatix was spun out to develop pharmaceutical products based on two vascular endothelial growth factors (VEGFs) licensed from LICR: VEGF-C, discovered by LICR Affiliate Dr. Kari Alitalo, and VEGF-D, discovered by Drs. Marc Achen and Steven Stacker at the LICR Melbourne Branch. These growth factors are both implicated in angiogenesis and lymphangiogenesis (the formation of new blood and lymphatic vessels, respectively) and are of great interest for the treatment of medical conditions caused by impaired blood supply or lymphoid drainage, such as ischemia and edema.
“The acquisition means that the Lymphatix technologies will be further developed by Ark, world experts in gene therapy,” says Dr. Jonathan Skipper (Executive Director for Intellectual Property and Licensing, LICR). As part of its ongoing VEGF-based research program, Ark is developing Trinam®, a pro-angiogenic therapy that combines the VEGF-D gene (licensed from LICR) in an adenoviral vector and Ark’s own collagen-based drug delivery system. This therapy was shown to prevent blood vessel blockage after vascular graft access surgery (insertion of an artificial blood vessel) and is now in Phase III clinical studies.