About NPY & AAV Vectors
CombiGene, with whom Panion has a license agreement for dogs and cats, develops a novel gene therapy approach for the treatment of epilepsy, based on discoveries made at Lund University in Sweden and the University of Copenhagen in Denmark.
The treatment consists of an AAV vector (Adeno-Associated Virus vector) designed to induce the overexpression of neuropeptide Y (NPY) and the Y2 receptor for NPY. All indications to date suggest that this “combination gene” approach is a viable option for a certain subpopulation of epilepsy patients.
The vector, carrying the genes for NPY and Y2, is administered via stereotactic injection directly into the hippocampus of the brain, while the dog is under sedation.
The genetic coding-sequence of NPY and Y2 is more or less identical for rats, dogs and humans, and the AAV-vector mediated expression of these two transgenes have been confirmed by the CombiGene founders both in rat and dogs. Thus, we feel quite confident that the version developed for humans will also be effective for dogs, and we will seek to confirm this in trials with patient-dogs with epilepsy.