VM202, a gene therapy developed by ViroMed (dba VM BioPharma in the U.S.), has been granted fast-track designation by the US FDA as a candidate therapy for ALS. A Phase I/II clinical trial is ongoing to test the safety and tolerability of intramuscular injections of VM202, and the results are slated to be published later this year. VM202 increases production of hepatocyte growth factor (HGF), which induces angiogenesis and acts as neurotrophic factor. In rodent models of ALS, overexpression of HGF has been shown to prolong survival and ameliorate disease (Sun et al., 2002; Ishigaki et al., 2007) . VM202 is also being tested for other indications, including diabetic neuropathy and ischemic cardiovascular disease in Korea, China, and the U.S.
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