Mauro Giacca

One of the co-leaders of the work, Mauro Giacca, serves as a professor at King's College London.[1]The Giacca laboratory at King’s College London has a main interest in developing innovative therapeutics for cardiac protection and repair.[2]Until 2018, Professor Giacca served as the Director-General of the International Centre for Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology , an international organization in the United Nations system.[3]FunSel has been developed by Professor Giacca, a leader in gene therapy of cardiovascular disorders, and provides Purespring with a target discovery platform uniquely suited to systematically move gene therapy beyond monogenic disorders.'[4]Giacca and other researchers studied tissues from the lungs, heart, liver, and kidneys of 41 patients who had COVID-19.[5]According to Giacca, nearly 90% of the 41 patients had several characteristics unique to COVID-19 when compared to other forms of pneumonia.[6]

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Recent events

Syncona founds Purespring with a £45m Series A Financing – ICGEB FunSel IP licenced

Purespring is one of the first AAV gene therapy companies focused on the kidney globally. Dominic Schmidt, Partner, Syncona Investment Management Limited, said: “We believe that the foundation of Purespring represents a unique opportunity to build the global leader in renal gene therapy, where we will have a strong early mover advantage combined with a bespoke platform and world-class individuals. Syncona has significant expertise in gene therapy and Purespring is the sixth Syncona gene therapy company to be founded since 2012 underling the Company’s leadership position in the gene therapy.[4]


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A study of the lungs of people who have died from COVID-19 has found persistent and extensive lung damage in most cases. Giacca and other researchers studied tissues from the lungs, heart, liver, and kidneys of 41 patients who had COVID-19. Giacca told Reuters that this massive damage could be one of the reasons people are suffering from long COVID. Giacca said that the existence of infected cells can cause the major structural changes seen in lungs.[1]


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