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.