ORIG3N™ Announces a Collaboration with the Sturge-Weber Foundation to Advance Therapeutic Research of Sturge-Weber Syndrome

ORIG3N's LifeCapsule™ cell repository will be used to support research programs at the foundation and at pharmaceutical companies

Jul 08, 2015, 09:30 ET from ORIG3N, Inc.

BOSTON, July 8, 2015 /PRNewswire/ -- ORIG3N, Inc., a pioneer in regenerative medicine and provider of induced pluripotent stem cell (iPSC) storage, called LifeCapsule (www.capsule.life), today announced a collaboration with the Sturge-Weber Foundation to enable a better understanding of Sturge-Weber syndrome.

Sturge-Weber syndrome is a rare condition caused by the GNAQ gene mutation.  It is characterized by a congenital facial birthmark and neurological abnormalities. Other symptoms associated with Sturge-Weber can include eye, endocrine and organ irregularities, as well as developmental disabilities. Each case of Sturge-Weber Syndrome is unique and exhibits the characteristics to varying degrees.

As part of the research program, ORIG3N will collect patient blood samples at the Sturge-Weber Foundation International Conference in Chicago, July 16 – 18, 2015. The samples will be reprogrammed into iPSCs and then differentiated into neurons. The collective patient-specific samples will be used by researchers for disease modeling with the goal of developing better therapeutic treatments.

"We are pleased to be working with the Sturge-Weber foundation to help impact the lives of patients in a meaningful way," said James Lovgren, Chief Business Officer at ORIG3N. "One of the goals of ORIG3N's LifeCapsule repository is to support rare disease research leading to improvements in patient care. Our work with Sturge-Weber will provide the research community with a powerful tool to help understand the basic mechanisms of the syndrome and to accelerate the development of effective therapies."

Sturge-Weber Foundation's (The SWF) international mission is to improve the quality of life and care for people with Sturge-Weber syndrome and associated Port Wine Birthmark conditions through collaborative education, advocacy, research, and friendly support.  

"The SWF is actively engaged in innovative research programs," said Brian Fisher, VP of Operations & Corporate Partnerships at the Sturge-Weber Foundation.  "There is a lot of work to be done to find the pathways involved and any other causes of this condition and ORIG3N is playing a key role by enabling iPSC-based research. This technology can help in the development of treatments that will have a significant impact on the lives of patients and their families."

To learn about becoming involved in this disease research program and The Sturge-Weber Foundation visit www.sturge-weber.org/studies-and-science/studies-and-science-research-advances.html and visit www.capsule.life/sturge-weber.html 

About the Sturge-Weber Foundation 
The Sturge-Weber Foundation is a 501 (c) (3) non profit organization with an ever increasing worldwide membership and is funded by corporate and private donations, grants and fundraising activities. The SWF was founded by Kirk and Karen Ball. They began searching for answers after their daughter, Kaelin, was diagnosed with Sturge-Weber Syndrome at birth. The SWF was incorporated in the USA in 1987 as an International 501(c)(3) non-profit organization for patients, parents, professionals and others concerned with Sturge-Weber Syndrome (SWS). In 1992, the mission was expanded to also support and serve individuals with capillary vascular birthmarks, Klippel Trenaunay (KT), and Port Wine Birthmarks.

About ORIG3N, Inc.  
Boston-based ORIG3N is a biotechnology company developing breakthrough treatments for rare genetically inherited diseases with targets in heart, liver, and neurodegenerative indications. Our mission is to further explore and understand cellular regeneration and to develop transformative applications for human health. The company's executive team is made up of industry veterans with greater than 20 years each in the life sciences marketplace. For more information, visit: www.orig3n.com