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Contact: Kathryn Ryan, 914-740-2100, kryan@liebertpub.com
Novel RNAi Therapy Silences Mutated Huntington's Disease Gene and Reduces Symptoms

New Rochelle, NY, May 21, 2014—A targeted gene silencing strategy blocks production of the dysfunctional huntingtin (Htt) protein, the cause of Huntington's disease, a fatal, inherited neurodegenerative disorder. The effectiveness of this RNA interference (RNAi) approach in reducing levels of mutant Htt protein and disease symptoms in a mouse model of the disease is described in Human Gene Therapy, a peer-reviewed journal from Mary Ann Liebert, Inc., publishers. The article is available on the Human Gene Therapy website.

Lisa Stanek and coauthors from Genzyme (Framingham, MA) used an adeno-associated viral (AAV) vector to deliver a targeted nucleic acid sequence called a small interfering RNA (siRNA) into the cells of affected mice. The siRNA selectively binds to the mutated gene, blocking disease-causing Htt production. The authors present data demonstrating the ability to deliver the therapeutic RNAi into the cells, reduce mutant Htt levels, and impact behavioral deficits in the mice without causing any noticeable neurotoxicity, in their article “Silencing Mutant Huntingtin by Adeno-Associated Virus-Mediated RNA Interference Ameliorates Disease Manifestations in the YAC128 Mouse Model of Huntington's Disease.”

"The Genzyme group uses state-of-the-art delivery technology and a gene silencing approach to generate very promising preclinical data for Huntington's disease," says James M. Wilson, MD, PhD, Editor-in-Chief of Human Gene Therapy, and Director of the Gene Therapy Program, Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine, University of Pennsylvania Perelman School of Medicine, Philadelphia.

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. 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 sister 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 content 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 areas of science and biomedical research, including Nucleic Acid Therapeutics, Tissue Engineering, Stem Cells and Development, and Cellular Reprogramming. Its biotechnology trade magazine, Genetic Engineering & Biotechnology News (GEN), 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.