With the recruitment of Esbjörn Melin, CombiGene further strengthens the company’s scientific position

CombiGene’s epilepsy project CG01 is in late preclinical phase and the company is currently intensifying preparations for the clinical program, where the Phase I study is scheduled to begin in 2022. For the clinical program, CombiGene will use GMP-produced material and for the later phases a more advanced method is needed to analyze the biological activity. As the development of such an analytical method takes a relatively long time, the UK Medicines Agency (MHRA) at the last advisory meeting recommended that CombiGene start this work as soon as possible. CombiGene has therefore recruited Esbjörn Melin to the position of industrial post-doc so that this work begins immediately.

Esbjörn Melin has been a PhD student with Professor Merab Kokaia, one of CombiGene’s scientific founders, and in the autumn of 2020 received his PhD with the dissertation Advancing gene therapy for epilepsy. Translational pre-clinical studies with neuropeptide Y and glial cell-line derived neurotrophic factor. Esbjörn thus has deep knowledge of CombiGene’s epilepsy project and was, among other things, responsible for the practical execution of the chronic study with CG01 that was conducted in collaboration between Professor Kokaia and Associate Professor David Woldbye, CombiGene’s other scientific founder.

Esbjörn will be responsible for the development of an analytical method to measure the biological activity of CG01 and in parallel with this also conduct other studies to establish further evidence around neuropeptide Y and its receptor Y2, the two active substances encoded in CG01.

“I am very pleased with the recruitment of Esbjörn Melin”, says Karin Agerman, CombiGene’s Chief Research & Development Officer. “Through his research, he has built up a deep scientific understanding of epilepsy and CG01’s mechanism of action and will thus contribute to the development of CG01 and further strengthen the company’s scientific position.”