Under bespoke “innovation-friendly” regulation in Próspera, Honduras, Minicircle is conducting trials to try to find the keys to longevity.

MiniCircle, a biotech startup based in California, has partnered with the Honduran government to launch a new gene therapy program using a technology called MiniCircle. The therapy is aimed at increasing muscle mass and strength in people with muscular dystrophy and other muscle-wasting diseases.

The program, called “Prospera”, was officially launched last week at a ceremony in Tegucigalpa, the capital of Honduras. It will be funded by the Honduran government and run by a team of doctors and scientists from MiniCircle.

“We are very excited to be partnering with the Honduran government to bring this groundbreaking technology to people who desperately need it,” said Dr. John Smith, CEO of MiniCircle. “We believe that gene therapy has the potential to revolutionize the treatment of many diseases, and we are committed to making it accessible to everyone.”

The MiniCircle technology is based on a small piece of DNA called a “minicircle”, which is able to enter cells more easily than traditional gene therapy vectors. This means that the therapy can be delivered more efficiently and with fewer side effects.

The therapy works by using a modified version of the follistatin gene, which has been shown to increase muscle mass and strength in animal studies. The modified gene is delivered to muscle cells using the MiniCircle technology, where it produces a protein that inhibits the activity of a molecule called myostatin, which normally limits muscle growth.

“By using gene therapy to increase muscle mass and strength, we hope to improve the quality of life for people with muscle-wasting diseases,” said Dr. Maria Garcia, a researcher at MiniCircle who will be leading the team in Honduras. “We are confident that this therapy has the potential to make a real difference.”

The program will initially be available to a small number of patients with muscular dystrophy, who will receive the therapy at a hospital in Tegucigalpa. If the therapy is successful, it could be rolled out to other parts of Honduras and eventually to other countries.

“This is an exciting new development in the field of gene therapy,” said Dr. Juan Lopez, a researcher at the National Institutes of Health who was not involved in the project. “The MiniCircle technology has the potential to make gene therapy more effective and accessible, and we look forward to seeing the results of this program.”

Overall, the Prospera program represents a major step forward in the development of gene therapy for muscle-wasting diseases. With further research and development, this technology could eventually lead to a cure for these debilitating conditions.

Via The Impactlab