In June 2009, ValiRx, as the leading partner of an international consortium of three companies, was awarded by Eurostar a two year grant to develop its GeneICE technology (“GeneICE” or “Gene inactivation by chromatin engineering”), against substantial competition from across Europe. The technology GeneICE, acts against “rebellious genes”, which cause cancer and other potentially neurological problems, by shutting them down or “putting them on ice”.
The Eurostars programme is a EU grant scheme and the EUrEKa Network initiative today known as Innovate UK, created with the purpose of providing funding for market-oriented research and development activities by Small and Medium-sized Enterprises within the EU.
ValiRx jointly led the successful funding application with GenoSyst (Finland) and PentaBase (Denmark) under the 2nd call to the Eurostars joint Programme, for design optimisation, lead selection and pre-clinical testing of GeneICE. The application was rated second in the UK and Finland and first in Denmark, coming in 4th overall out of over 500 applicants within the EU wide scheme.
The technology is under license from Imperial College, University of London and it has been shown to be effective against several cancer cell lines, including prostate cancer, ovarian cancer, pancreatic cancer and lung cancer. ValiRx retains all commercial rights for GeneICE from the programme.