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Contact: Kathryn Ryan, 914-740-2100,
New Approach to Improve Therapeutic Gene Delivery to Arthritic Joints
New Rochelle, NY, February 2, 2017—Researchers report a promising new pre-treatment method for improving the delivery of gene therapy directly to inflamed joints affected by rheumatoid arthritis. The novel strategy to overcome macrophage inhibition of transgene expression following viral vector-mediated delivery of gene therapy to alleviate inflammation is described in an article in Human Gene Therapy, a peer-reviewed journal from Mary Ann Liebert, Inc., publishers. The article is available free on the Human Gene Therapy website until March 2, 2017.

Caroline Aalbers and coauthors from Arthrogen B.V. (Amsterdam), University of Amsterdam, and Leiden University Medical Center, the Netherlands, report on the effects of two different pre-treatment approaches: injection of either a cortocosteroid or empty decoy viral capsids directly into the affected joints of a mouse model of rheumatoid arthritis.
In the article entitled "Empty Capsids and Macrophage Inhibition/Depletion Increase rAAV Transgene Expression in Joints of Both Healthy and Arthritic Mice," the researchers present evidence demonstrating the synergistic enhancement of transgene expression achieved when the two pre-treatments were combined.
“It is fascinating to observe situations in which empty AAV capsids may exert a beneficial effect on gene transfer,” says Editor-in-Chief Terence R. Flotte, MD, Celia and Isaac Haidak Professor of Medical Education and Dean, Provost, and Executive Deputy Chancellor, University of Massachusetts Medical School, Worcester, MA. “While they are often treated as contaminants, empty capsids are a natural product of viral replication and could have unanticipated effects.”

About the Journal
Human Gene Therapy, the Official Journal of the European Society of Gene and Cell Therapy, British Society for Gene and Cell Therapy, French Society of Cell and Gene Therapy, German Society of Gene Therapy, and five other gene therapy societies, is an authoritative peer-reviewed journal published monthly in print and online. Led by Editor-in-Chief Terence R. Flotte, MD, Celia and Isaac Haidak Professor of Medical Education and Dean, Provost, and Executive Deputy Chancellor, University of Massachusetts Medical School, Human Gene Therapy presents reports on the transfer and expression of genes in mammals, including humans. Related topics include improvements in vector development, delivery systems, and animal models, particularly in the areas of cancer, heart disease, viral disease, genetic disease, and neurological disease, as well as ethical, legal, and regulatory issues related to the gene transfer in humans. Its companion journals, Human Gene Therapy Methods, published bimonthly, focuses on the application of gene therapy to product testing and development, and Human Gene Therapy Clinical Development, published quarterly, features data relevant to the regulatory review and commercial development of cell and gene therapy products. Tables of contents for all three publications and a free sample issue may be viewed on the Human Gene Therapy website.

About the Publisher
Mary Ann Liebert, Inc., publishers is a privately held, fully integrated media company known for establishing authoritative peer-reviewed journals in many promising areas of science and biomedical research, including Nucleic Acid Therapeutics, Tissue Engineering, Stem Cells and Development, and Cellular Reprogramming. Its biotechnology trade magazine, GEN (Genetic Engineering & Biotechnology News), was the first in its field and is today the industry’s most widely read publication worldwide. A complete list of the firm’s 80 journals, books, and newsmagazines is available on the Mary Ann Liebert, Inc., publishers website.