Benitec Biopharma Inc. has received FDA clearance of its IND application for BB-301, its silence and replace gene therapy for the treatment of oculopharyngeal muscular dystrophy (OPMD)-related dysphagia.
Sarepta Therapeutics Inc. has set the wholesale acquisition cost of the first gene transfer therapy for ambulatory patients with Duchenne muscular dystrophy at $3.2 million, making it one of the most expensive gene therapies. The company said the gross-to-net price for Elevidys (delandistrogene moxeparvovec) will be in the mid-20% range, which, suggests Mizuho Group analyst Uy Ear, would put the price at about $2.4 million.
Sarepta Therapeutics Inc. is set to introduce the first gene transfer therapy for ambulatory patients diagnosed with Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD), after the U.S. FDA granted accelerated approval to SRP-9001 (delandistrogene moxeparvovec). Branded Elevidys, the therapy marks Sarepta’s fourth approved treatment for DMD and the first to offer patients a one-time treatment option.
The lead asset of Applied Genetic Technologies Corp. has been spun into Beacon Therapeutics Ltd., which launches with $120.9 million to run a phase II/III pivotal trial of AGTC-501 in X-linked retinitis pigmentosa, and to take forward two other in-licensed preclinical programs in age-related macular degeneration and cone rod dystrophy.
Barring truly major surprises, exagamglogene autotemcel (Exa-cel, Vertex Pharmaceuticals Inc.) is on track to become the first approved CRISPR-based gene editing therapy. It is partly in expectation of Exa-cel’s approval that the European Hematology Association (EHA) and the European Society for Bone Marrow Transplantation hosted a session on “transplantation versus gene therapy in sickle cell disease.”
For Jeff Galvin, the CEO and founder of newly launched Addimmune Inc., HIV is not a condition that’s in the rearview mirror. It needs a functional cure to save lives, make people healthier and save money that need not have been spent. People wonder why it’s worth bothering to cure HIV, Galvin told BioWorld, when they are taking their medications every day and they are feeling pretty close to normal. But it’s not close for Galvin, who noted that there are side effects from taking the pills that can cause headaches, fatigue, nausea and diarrhea.
Currently, there are no treatments to reverse or prevent genetic hearing loss, which affects 1 in 500 newborns. Several gene replacement and overexpression preclinical studies targeting genetic hearing loss have shown success, as the inner ear can be accessed safely by local injection. However, all these gene therapy studies have been performed in neonatal animals, except one in the Otof gene; therefore, the suitability of the approach in the fully mature adult inner ear remains to be elucidated.
Gene therapy developer Kate Therapeutics Inc. (KateTx), which is developing next-generation adeno-associated virus (AAV) vectors that target skeletal and cardiac muscle, has unveiled $51 million series A round and a licensing deal with Astellas Pharma Inc.
AAVantgarde Bio SrL raised €61 million (US$65 million) in series A funding to take forward two novel approaches to gene therapy that aim to overcome the packaging limits of adeno-associated virus (AAV) vectors. The company plans to move its lead program, in retinitis pigmentosa associated with Usher syndrome type 1b, into the clinic later this year. A second program, in Stargardt disease, is a couple of years behind it.