Asklepios BioPharmaceutical, Inc. (AskBio) | March 01, 2023 | Read time : 02:00 min
Asklepios BioPharmaceutical, Inc. (AskBio), a subsidiary of Bayer AG, recently announced that the European Commission (EC) has granted orphan drug designation to AB-1003 (also known as LION-101) for the treatment of limb-girdle muscular dystrophy (LGMD). AB-1003 is an investigational recombinant adeno-associated virus (AAV) based gene therapy that is being developed as a one-time intravenous infusion for patients with LGMD type 2I/R9.
The disease affects 4.5 people per million worldwide, with more than 5,000 people affected in the EU and the US. The EC decision was received through AskBio's EU-based subsidiary BrainVectis, following a positive opinion from the European Medicines Agency's (EMA) Committee for Orphan Medicinal Products (COMP)
AB-1003 is currently being investigated in a Phase 1/2 multicenter study in the US to evaluate its tolerability, safety, and efficacy in adult subjects with genotypically confirmed LGMD2I/R9.
The EC for medicinal products grants orphan drug designation developed to treat a life-threatening disease that affects no more than five people in 10,000 in the EU, provided there is no other adequate treatment option or the medicine can bring significant value to those affected by a specific condition. This designation will provide special incentives in the EU, including eligibility for protocol assistance and possible reductions or exemptions in certain regulatory fees. Additionally, if the medicine is approved for marketing, this designation will provide ten years of marketing exclusivity.
Limb-girdle muscular dystrophy (LGMD) is a group of diseases that cause progressive weakening and wasting of the muscles in the arms and legs. The severity, features of LGMD and age of onset vary among the many subtypes of the condition and are often inconsistent, even within the same family. Limb-Girdle Muscular Dystrophy Type 2I/R9 (LGMD2I/R9) is a form of LGMD caused by mutations in the FKRP gene. Signs and symptoms of LGMD2I/R9 often appear in late childhood and may include difficulty walking and running. The symptoms intensify with time, eventually leading to considerable disability, and afflicted persons typically require a wheelchair for movement roughly 23-26 years after beginning. Unfortunately, there is presently no treatment that slows the advancement of the disease, and management is based on the indications and symptoms that each individual exhibits.
About Asklepios BioPharmaceutical, Inc. (AskBio)
AskBio is a leading, fully integrated gene therapy company dedicated to developing innovative gene therapeutics and life-saving medicines. With operations worldwide, its pipeline includes gene therapy candidates for various diseases, including the central nervous system, neuromuscular, metabolic, and cardiovascular diseases. AskBio's global headquarters are located in RTP, NC, with European headquarters in Edinburgh. In addition, the company operates AAV research centers in Philadelphia, PA; Columbus, OH; and Paris, and modern clinical and commercial facilities in San Sebastian, Spain.