Tech Tuesday: Gene Therapy

by | Sep 23, 2022

GAINESVILLE, Fla. (WCJB) – A gene therapy company based in Alachua is developing products that could help combat hereditary diseases.

Our partners at UF Innovate and SCAD Media tell us about their work in this week’s Tech Tuesday.

Happy Tech Tuesday, I’m Melanie Marone with UF Innovate Accelerate. And today I’m joined by Edgar Rodriguez, CEO of Lacerta Therapeutics. Edgar, thank you so much for joining us today.

Thank you for having me now. So tell us more about Lacerta Therapeutics.

So Lacerta Therapeutics is actually a gene therapy company. We are a spinoff out of the University of Florida, and primarily we are a company that is developing products that allows us to deliver genetic material into the central nervous system as a way of combating or arresting these diseases.

And what do you mean by delivering genetic material?

So in some cases, people are born with changes in their genetic sequence. And sometimes those changes actually cause them not to be able to produce a protein or an enzyme that is needed for normal function. What we do is we try to fix that problem by delivering a functioning copy of that genetic material, so that those patients can then now start expressing or producing that protein or enzyme, and therefore we can either prevent the disease from starting or halt its progression as a means of therapy.

So it’s a very precise medicine that allows us to go at the genetic basis of the disease, and be able to arrest its progression, by using the biologic that we’re developing here.

And what’s next for Lacerta Therapeutics?

Lacerta Therapeutics has been growing thanks to its partnerships with pharmaceutical companies. And we’re actually very excited, because we’re about to announce a third major partnership coming up here in the next few weeks. But more importantly, we have also been able to establish partnerships with the University of Florida, not only in terms of further development of technologies, but more importantly in our ability to recruit students from the University of Florida to come work here at Lacerta. And that has been a win-win not just for us, but also for the growth of the local ecosystem, because it allows us to breed and to continue to grow from our local talent, while we attract national and internationally recognized partners to come here.

Link to original article and video…

By WCJB Staff
Published: Aug. 9, 2022 at 2:44 PM PDT

About Lacerta

Lacerta has quickly become a nationally recognized partner in the development of genetic-based medicines & treatments for central nervous system and lysosomal storage diseases.