EIC Transition winner PacingCure: developing a biological pacemaker
Amsterdam UMC spin-off PacingCure develops platform gene transfer technologies for the heart. In the first cut-off of 2022 their project, TRACTION, was awarded the prestigious Transition grant from the European Innovation Council (EIC). TRACTION aims to establish Proof-of-Concept for BradyTx-01 – a novel gene therapy medicinal product (GTMP) for the curative treatment of life-threatening cardiac pacing disruptions. Catalyze is proud to have supported the successful application to EIC Transition. Read on to learn more about this groundbreaking project, and to hear Project Coordinator Dr. Gerard Boink’s thoughts on the project and collaboration.
Creating biological pacemakers
For patients with life-threatening cardiac pacing dysfunctions, the state-of-the-art treatment is the electronic pacemaker, a life-saving device for many, but possessing major limitations. Implantation requires a surgical procedure and must be repeated every 7 years due to battery depletion, while in children – whose heart is still growing – more frequent repair and maintenance is required.
PacingCure, a spin-out of Amsterdam University Medical Centre, developed the novel GTMP, BradyTx-01, capable of regenerating cardiac pacemaker activity. These newly formed pacemaker cells (so-called biological pacemakers) spontaneously generate the action potentials – explosions of electrical activity – required to create the rhythmic impulses that pace the heart.
Boink remarks on the benefits of biological pacemakers: “They are made to finally provide for a hardware-free treatment of slow heart rhythm disorders (bradycardias) that is expected to importantly reduce the risk for major complications and provide for a more physiological mode of cardiac pacing.”
Applying to EIC Transition with Catalyze’s support
Catalyze is proud to have supported PacingCure in the development of their successful application to EIC Transition.
Gerard comments on the added value of receiving Catalyze’s support in development of the application: “The support of Catalyze’s consultancy team has been instrumental in sharpening our development trajectory and refining our business development story all the way from successful grant writing to our preparation for the final pitch”.