FPA Patent Attorneys expertise in Gene Therapy

Date: 2016-08-30

FPA Patent Attorneys are a leading authority on gene-therapy based interventions in Australia.  We are well placed to assist clients in protecting their intellectual property in this field.

FPA Patent Attorneys would like to congratulate Dr Catherine Winbanks on the recent publication of her scientific work in the highly prestigious, high impact factor journal Science Translational Medicine. 

This work was conducted during her post-doctoral career and identifies a novel therapeutic gene-based intervention for the treatment of cancer cachexia.  The work identifies muscle-directed Smad7 gene delivery as a potential therapeutic approach for preventing muscle wasting in disease conditions characterised by excessive ActRIIB signalling, such as cancer cachexia.

Separate to her work, a number of clinical trials have been conducted using inhibitors that target excessive ActRIIB signalling including ACE-031 and sActRIIB-Fc, however these trials have been complicated by negative side-effects, leading to premature termination.2   The findings in Catherine’s study are important because they demonstrate that safely targeting ActRIIB signalling is possible through gene therapy, and that this approach avoids deleterious off-target effects. 

The publication further establishes Catherine as a leading authority on gene-therapy based interventions in Australia and together with her expertise in gene editing and RNAi in context of cancer, muscular dystrophy, cardiovascular disease, renal disease and diabetes, she is well placed to assist clients in protecting innovation in these fields.


Links to her publications can be viewed at the US National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health (PubMed).



1 Winbanks CE, et al., (2016). Smad7 gene delivery prevents muscle wasting associated with cancer cachexia in mice. Science Translational Medicine 8 (348), 348ra398.
2 http://investor.acceleronpharma.com/releasedetail.cfm?ReleaseID=785701