It is just over four months since CombiGene began the collaboration on the pain program COZY with the Danish company Zyneyro. It has been four months of intensive work where we formed the team working on the program and where we initiated the extensive preparations for the preclinical toxicology program.
In parallel, we have also carried out a number of preparatory activities for the next step in the study of COZY01 conducted by the National Institutes of Health (NIH, a US government agency), in one of them funded program (Preclinical Screening Platform for Pain, PSPP). The background to the NIH’s very early interest in COZY01 is not only the human suffering that chronic pain causes but also the enormous costs that pain gives rise to for American society in the form of direct and indirect costs and the galloping opioid crisis that the country suffers from. Estimates show that pain costs American society USD 635 billion each year.
The fact that COZY01 has already attracted the attention of the NIH is of course extremely encouraging and points to the great need for new forms of pain relief. COZY1 has passed the first of the three levels of the PSPP program and has moved on to the next where the substance will be tested in different pain models.
Through our collaboration with Zyneyro, CombiGene now has four projects where three of them, the epilepsy project CG01 and the pain projects COZY01 and COZY02, are aimed at large patient populations. This puts CombiGene in a unique position. Almost all of the gene therapy projects run by other companies are focused on rare diseases.
In 2023, we will continue to develop all our projects as successfully as possible and continue to seek new and promising assets for in-licensing with the ambition to build an increasingly strong gene therapy company.