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University of Alberta - KMT Hepatech

Edmonton, AB, CA
Company Type:
Academic Core Facility

KMT Hepatech, Inc. is a private company, which was founded in 2001 by Dr. Norman Kneteman, Dr. David Mercer and Dr. Lorne Tyrrell as a spin off company from the University of Alberta. The platform technology, the KMT MouseTM, is named after Dr. Kneteman, Dr. Mercer and Dr. Tyrrell.

Through their collaboration, a unique animal model was developed to aid in the discovery of therapies and vaccines.

Dr. Kneteman hypothesized that developing a method to support human liver cells in a mouse should allow support of Hepatitis C (HCV) infection, and yield a research model that would be invaluable to researchers. The attention was focused on immune deficient mice, as these mice could not reject the human liver cells when they are transplanted. A way to disadvantage a healthy mouse’s liver and enable the human liver cells to grow and replicate in the mouse model was found through the use of transgene that causes liver failure.

“Our Eureka moment was when Dr. Mercer got a call from the lab saying they had a positive test for Hep C, but that it must be a mistake, since the requisition said it was from a mouse. We knew then our research worked and we could grow human liver cells and infect these mice with Hep C,” says Dr. Kneteman.

The KMT MouseTM is now used for drug discovery, development and pre-clinical studies. It provides an authentic viral infection model utilizing transplanted human liver cells infected with HCV in a true in-vivo setting.

“We are a very small, efficient company that has the potential to save a lot of money for companies developing antiviral therapy for HCV,” says Dr. Lorne Tyrrell.

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University of Alberta - KMT Hepatech
11421 Saskatchewan Drive Northwest Edmonton, AB, T6G 2R3 Canada

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