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In 1995, a gene therapy specialist by the name of Jon Wolff, along with colleagues Vladimir Budker, and James Hagstrom, founded the biopharmaceutical company now known as the Mirus Bio Corporation, located in Madison, Wisconsin. Their effort was prompted by the discovery that muscle tissue can effectively absorb genes, which took place at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. This discovery lead to the invention of gene therapy techniques involving direct injection. The premise of the experiments that lead to this discovery, and later the foundation of the Mirus Bio Corporation, was that gene therapy involving non-viral approaches (instead utilizing plasmid DNA) has great benefits compared to its viral counterparts.

The Mirus Bio Corporation was founded on the discovery of non-viral approaches to gene therapy; inventions thus far include using polymers, proteins, and lipids in the capacity of nucleic acid delivery. The corporation’s current goal follows the same general goal: development and commercialization of nucleic acid technologies. The proprietary invention on which these research endeavors are based is Mirus’ Pathway IV ™ treatment, in which a tourniquet is applied to the targeted limb, and then a DNA solution is rapidly injected intravenously. This provides a great advantage: the increased pressure in the target limb allows for greater permeability of the blood vessels, which in turn maximizes the muscular absorption of the DNA solution. As of yet, no vascular damage has been noted.

The Pathway IV ™ method is being explored as an option in the treatment of muscular dystrophy, peripheral ischemia, and anemia.

Mirus Bio Corporation is set apart from competitors due to the corporation’s focus on nucleic acid delivery combined with an approach based in the utilization of chemistry. Current products offered are DNA and RNA labeling technologies, and RNA interference options.

The Mirus Bio Corporation is currently lead by President Russell R. Smestad, Vice Presidents Joseph R. Williams, and Richard S. Schifreen.

Contact Information:
Phone : (608) 238-4400
Address: 505 S. Rosa Rd., Ste. 104
               Madison, WI 53719-1267

sources
(http://www.wisconsinbiotech.org/biotech_news/index.php?category_id=358&subcategory_id=1185)
(http://www.genetics.wisc.edu/faculty/profile.php?id=155)
(http://www.mirusbio.com/)

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