THE WOODLANDS, Texas--GeneMedicine, developer of nonviral gene therapy products for the treatment or prevention of disease, announced the appointment of Louis Smith as director of its intratumoral program. Smith, who has served as a consultant to GeneMedicine since the company's founding in 1993, will continue to lead a scientific team creating novel gene delivery and gene expression technologies to increase the extent, levels, and duration of expression of therapeutic genes in tumors after direct injection of gene medicines. Since last year, Smith has been on sabbatical from his position as professor of medicine, biochemistry, cell biology, and molecular biophysics at Baylor College of Medicine. Since 1990, his research efforts have been primarily directed at the development of synthetic systems for DNA plasmid delivery in vivo using lipophilic peptides and cationic lipids.
Gene medicines deliver genetic instructions to targeted cells in the body to produce therapeutic proteins or desired immune responses. The company recently completed patient enrollment of its Phase I human clinical trials for its IL-2 gene medicine for the treatment of head and neck cancer, and is undertaking preclinical work for two additional cytokine-based gene medicines utilizing the genes for interferon-(alpha) and IL-12.