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Our Story

TestAVec is committed, as a CRO, to reducing the risk of side effects of gene therapies treatments for genetic diseases, empowering new possibilities for life in children, adults and families affected by these conditions. 


Our story began when our CSO, Mike Themis, left his career in the motor industry to fix people's health instead of cars. Mike's focus was on safe and effective therapies for childhood diseases, where current therapeutic options did not exist or caused severe complications. He saw this could be achieved by gene therapy, which offers the potential for permanent correction of disease, even through treatment at an early age. 


Mike's research over the next 20 years revealed significant challenges balancing efficacy and safety to avoid genotoxic cancer-causing side effects of GT vectors.  Animal tests supporting the assessment of the benefit:risk profile for patients were unreliable in estimating human risk (see publications).

In search of a "better" way to crack this challenge, Mike experimented with human organoid 3D cell cultures. With funding from the NC3Rs  InMutaGene CRACK-IT competition (sponsored by GSK and Novartis), in collaboration with Manfred Schmidt of GeneWerk GmbH and others, he developed ʰInGeTox, the world’s first  human In vitro GenoToxicity testing platform to assess vector safety and efficacy. ʰInGeTox outputs can assist in GT vector design and patient eligibility for GT treatment. Mike founded TestAVec Ltd in July 2017 to commercially exploit  ʰInGetox, 


TestaVec's tests can be applied to both research and pre-clinical trial phases. Currently we are able to provide support to research groups, biotechnology companies or global pharmaceutical companies based anywhere in the world who wish to progress gene therapy programs from discovery and candidate selection through to the clinic. Our tests can be applied to both research and pre-clinical trial phases.

We are excited to offer ʰInGeTox  to potential clients who wish to profile their potential therapeutics before large investment in downstream processing and manufacture. If you are interested, why not get in touch? 


TestAVec aims are simple - To become the leading  provider in gene therapy vector  testing and safety by design.

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Our Partners, Funders and Sponsors in the CRACK-IT Challenge

CRACK-IT Challenge sponsors

Collaborating commercial partner 

CRACK-IT challenge research partner

CRACK-IT challenge research partner

CRACK-IT challenge funder

CRACK-IT challenge research partners

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