BioWorld International Correspondent
PARIS - Fovea Pharmaceuticals SA and Genzyme Corp. entered a research collaboration to develop gene-related therapies for diseases of the eye using targets selected by Fovea and gene delivery technologies developed by Genzyme, of Cambridge, Mass.
The collaboration will draw on Paris-based Fovea Pharmaceuticals' proprietary high-content technology platform to identify new targets involved in photoreceptor degeneration in retinal dystrophies. The two companies pointed out that the ultimate cause of irreversible blindness in major retinal diseases, including the dry form of age-related macular degeneration, is photoreceptor degeneration.
Fovea Pharmaceuticals is developing new drugs for treating back-of-the-eye diseases such as age-related macular degeneration, retinitis pigmentosa, glaucoma, macular edema in venous occlusion and diabetic retinopathy, and the joint research program will combine the French company's scientific, clinical and pharmaceutical expertise in retinal diseases with Genzyme's extensive know-how in protein production and gene delivery.
The ultimate goal is to offer customized solutions for the understanding of the disease mechanisms involved, with the aim of developing new therapeutic strategies to prevent or reduce the severity of blindness.
The financial terms of the collaboration were not disclosed.
Commenting on the collaboration, Bernard Gilly, chairman and CEO of Fovea, said it "underscores the substantial opportunity that our expertise in retinal diseases and unique platform provide to increase the efficiency and probability of success in ophthalmology drug discovery and development."