Avita Therapeutics’ is partnering with Houston Methodist Research Institute (HMRI) to identify novel approaches to reverse skin aging and rejuvenate skin with the potential for broader applicability such as scar revision and wound healing. 

The project seeks to establish proof-of-concept in a preclinical study pairing Avita’s proprietary Spray-On Skin Cells with HMRI’s expertise in RNA-based technology used to reverse cellular aging. Under the Sponsored Research Agreement, Avita Therapeutics will gain access to Houston Methodist’s RNA-based approach to rejuvenate human cells. Houston Methodist has studied the use of telomerase to lengthen the ends of chromosomes (“telomeres”), which act as molecular clocks in cells and progressively shorten with age. 

The initial research program is expected to run 18 months, followed by further work to develop a data package enabling regulatory submission, targeting an Investigational New Drug application.

Avita Therapeutics has also entered into an Option Agreement to negotiate an exclusive, worldwide license to this patented technology for skin applications, as well as first right of negotiation to technologies emerging from the collaboration for potential further development and commercialization.

 “This collaboration expands our pipeline to include exploration of modified-cells delivery and is another milestone in our commitment to harnessing the promise of regenerative medicine and unlocking the full potential of our technology platform to improve patients’ lives through skin restoration,” says Mike Perry, Chief Executive Officer of Avita Therapeutics, in a news release.

“Avita Therapeutics’ innovative platform has advanced care for burn patients, and we are encouraged by the progress we have seen with our technology in improving cell function through our progeria research," says John Cooke, M.D., Ph.D., Chair of the Department of Cardiovascular Sciences at Houston Methodist Research Institute. "We look forward to collaborating with Avita to combine our respective technology platforms to explore a potential new approach to reverse aging and improve functionality of skin. Our experience in RNA-based methods to regenerate blood vessels and reverse age-related endotheliopathy is directly relevant to skin repair and rejuvenation."