Skip to main content
Local News

Immusoft Receives $3.5 Million Grant to Expand upon Its Cell Therapy Platform

By September 14, 2018No Comments

Immusoft Corporation, a Seattle, Wash.-based cell therapy company, announced today that it has received a Phase II Small Business Innovation Research grant (SBIR) from the National Institute of General Medical Sciences, part of the National Institutes of Health (NIH). The grant, in the amount of just over $3.5 million, will enable Immusoft to further advance its modified B cell approach to treating disease.

“We appreciate the NIH’s support of our approach,” says Sean Ainsworth, Immusoft’s CEO and Chairman of the Board. “This SBIR grant will help us expand upon our cutting-edge work in MPS I and further explore modalities for delivering proteins across the blood-brain barrier.”

MPS I (Mucopolysaccharidosis type I) is a rare childhood genetic disease that affects the body’s ability to produce IDUA (alpha-L-iduronidase), which is an essential enzyme that helps to break down long-chain sugars inside cells. When the sugar chains cannot be broken down and disposed of, they accumulate in the cells and cause progressive damage. This accumulation can happen in the tissues, including the brain.

Immusoft seeks to dramatically improve on current treatments of MPS I by using its Immune System Programming™ technology, which involves reprogramming a patient’s B cells, a type of immune cell, outside the body to produce therapeutic proteins, such as IDUA.

“This award is great news for Immusoft,” says R. Scott McIvor, Ph.D., Immusoft’s Chief Development Officer. “These funds will provide resources to accelerate further development of Immusoft’s B cell product as an effective therapy for human disease.”

SBIR grants are awarded to businesses to conduct research and development that can potentially be commercialized. Immusoft’s Phase II grant follows an earlier Phase I grant the company received to conduct studies to express IDUA in B cells using the Sleeping Beauty Transposon System, which delivers genes into cells without using a virus. As part of the Phase II, Immusoft will pursue a strategy for facilitating enhanced delivery across the blood-brain barrier and delivery of the IDUA enzyme.