First Gene Therapy Clinical Trial to Address Genetic Blindness

Oregon Health & Science University (OHSU) held the first-ever gene therapy clinical trial, BRILLIANCE, to address blindness-causing gene mutation, LCA10, according to a recent press release The clinical trial, sponsored by Allergan plc and Editas Medicine, is one of 14 different clinical trials investigating new genetic treatments for ophthalmic conditions and nearly 50 vision-related clinical trials. The procedure uses gene-editing tool CRISPR to edit human genes, also known as in vivo gene editing. Previously, gene-editing methods have edited genetic material after it was removed from the human body. Being able to edit genes inside the human body is incredibly profound,” said Mark Pennesi, MD, PhD, the Kenneth C. Swan, associate professor of ophthalmology in the OHDU School of Medicine and chief of the OSHU Casey Eye Institute’s Paul H. Casey Ophthalmic Genetics Division.

Spotlight

Spotlight

Related News

RESEARCH

DotLab announces top-tier, global pharmaceutical research clients for its DotEndo platform

PR Newswire | January 09, 2024

DotLab, a medical diagnostics company, announced top-tier pharmaceutical research clients for its DotEndo platform. The customers include global companies with interests in diagnosing or monitoring endometriosis on a Research Use Only basis in clinical trial subjects to support the development of new medicines. "We're proud to share the news of our global pharmaceutical partners, which are complementary to our planned, large clinical offering for commercial endometriosis tests based on our technologies," said DotLab's founder, Heather Bowerman. "Our pharma partners conducted rigorous diligence of our science and intellectual property prior to the execution of our contracts, and they view our platform as the first of its kind and the leader in this space." The DotEndo™ platform's AI/ML technology was developed via DotLab's EMPOWER clinical trial, a prospective, observational, multi-center study run at endometriosis centers of excellence across the United States. EMPOWER is the most robust clinical study of its type ever performed for diagnosing and monitoring endometriosis, making it an excellent foundation for the platform. Based on these successes, DotLab announced Morgan Stanley as a new investor in late 2023. "We intend to continue to offer our pharma clients – and, ultimately, clinicians – a comprehensive endometriosis menu of tests and tools. Endometriosis is notorious for its complex biology, and there has long been a need for tests and tools to diagnose and monitor endometriosis – and ultimately, to improve endpoints for the disease in therapeutic trials," said Bowerman. About DotLab Dot Laboratories, Inc. ("DotLab") is solving some of the world's most significant diagnostic challenges via the latest advancements in multiomics and computational biology. The company delivers clinical innovations to areas of significant unmet need via novel, cutting-edge biomarkers and the power of machine learning to deliver non-invasive tests. The company has driven a paradigm shift in the identification and management of endometriosis. DotLab is female-founded and female-led.

Read More

PHARMA TECH

Exclusive Agreement: Specialised Therapeutics & Ascendis Pharma to Distribute Three Endocrinology Therapies in Australia & Select SE Asia Countries

PR Newswire | January 08, 2024

Independent biopharmaceutical company Specialised Therapeutics Asia Pte Ltd (ST) has added three new endocrinology therapies to its specialist portfolio, following an exclusive distribution agreement with Danish company Ascendis Pharma A/S. Under the terms of the agreement, ST will commercialise Ascendis Pharma's weekly injectable paediatric human growth hormone treatment SKYTROFA (lonapegsomatropin), hypoparathyroidism treatment YORVIPATH (palopegteriparatide) and investigational achondroplasia therapy TransCon CNP (navepegritide). The agreement spans ST's key regions of Australia, New Zealand, Singapore, Malaysia, Brunei, Thailand, and Vietnam. Two of the products included in this agreement are already internationally approved: Once-weekly SKYTROFA is a human growth hormone (hGH) approved in the United States for the treatment of paediatric patients aged >1 years weighing >11.5 kg with growth failure due to inadequate secretion of endogenous growth hormone (GH)1 and in the European Union for growth failure in children and adolescents aged from 3 to 18 years due to insufficient endogenous growth hormone secretion (growth hormone deficiency [GHD]). YORVIPATH is a first-in-class parathyroid hormone (PTH) replacement therapy to treat chronic hypoparathyroidism, a rare and potentially serious condition where the body produces no or abnormally low levels of PTH. It is approved in the European Union for the treatment of adults with chronic hypoparathyroidism. The third product – TransCon CNP – is in development by Ascendis Pharma for the treatment of achondroplasia (ACH), the most common genetic form of skeletal dysplasia and resulting disproportionate short stature, following successful Phase 2 trial results. Australian endocrinologist Dr Veronica Preda noted that YORVIPATH would be the first specialist therapeutic option for Australian patients living with hypoparathyroidism. "Hypoparathyroidism can seriously impact quality of life and has potentially life-threatening consequences," Dr Preda said. "To have an option that is able to treat the underlying cause of the disease, moving beyond standard oral calcium and active Vitamin D, is a great step forward." Announcing the partnership, ST Chief Executive Officer Carlo Montagner said this agreement was an important company milestone, signalling ST's expansion into both endocrinology and paediatric medicine. Mr Montagner commented: "We are delighted to have been selected as Ascendis Pharma's exclusive partner for commercialising their portfolio in Oceania and these South-East Asia countries and look forward to launching these critical endocrinology products in our regions as soon as possible. "All three products are valuable inclusions to our broad therapeutic pipeline and our international business, as we continue to leverage our substantial experience commercialising specialist medicines across multiple regions. "We look forward to working with endocrinologists across our territories to make these endocrine therapies available to all eligible patients who may benefit." Ascendis Pharma Executive Vice President and Chief Commercial Officer Camilla Harder Hartvig said ST had been selected to launch the endocrinology portfolio in these countries based on its strong track record commercialising specialist products in multiple regions. "We are delighted to partner with Specialised Therapeutics to broaden the reach of our endocrinology rare disease portfolio, contributing to our shared goal of making a meaningful difference for patients facing unmet medical needs," she said. About Specialised Therapeutics Founded in 2007, Specialised Therapeutics is the region's largest independent specialty pharmaceutical company, providing new therapies and technologies to patients in Australia, New Zealand and across Southeast Asia. Headquartered in Singapore, ST partners with global pharmaceutical, biotech and diagnostic companies to bring novel healthcare opportunities to patients who are impacted by a range of diseases. ST has built a strong track record of success, navigating complex regulatory, reimbursement and commercialisation environments in its diverse regions. The ST mission is to provide specialty therapies where there is an unmet need. The company's broad therapeutic portfolio currently includes novel agents in oncology, haematology, CNS, neurology, endocrinology, ophthalmology and supportive care, although it is not confined to these areas. ST is a member of the World Orphan Drug Alliance (WODA).

Read More

PHARMA TECH

FORTREA SELECTS COGNIZANT AS ITS TECHNOLOGY TRANSFORMATION PROVIDER

PR Newswire | January 05, 2024

Cognizant and Fortrea, a leading global provider of clinical development and patient access solutions to the life sciences industry, today announced that Cognizant has been selected as Fortrea's strategic technology transformation provider. By partnering with Cognizant, Fortrea aims to continue advancing its mission and delivering solutions to its pharmaceutical, biotechnology and medical device customers – and to the patients those customers serve – within the confines of a sound and secure digital infrastructure. Over the four-year agreement, Cognizant is expected to transform Fortrea's global technology environment. Cognizant's approach to the project is expected to bring the speed and agility necessary for the deployment of the next generation hybrid cloud and platforms required for a new era of digital innovation for Fortrea. The state-of-the-art technologies and services are designed to empower Fortrea to transform into a "born digital" organization, enabling a seamless digital experience with agility and efficiency across many different touchpoints. In June 2023, Fortrea successfully completed its spin-off from its former parent company in a move designed to enhance its agility; capitalize on growth opportunities in phase I-IV clinical trials and patient access; and extend its leading positions in oncology, clinical pharmacology and partnership models. In 2024, Cognizant will play a fundamental role in the exit from Fortrea's Transition Service Agreements with its former parent company, facilitating a smooth switch and the establishment of the global Fortrea infrastructure, application management, and end-user services. Cognizant's strategic services are expected to elevate Fortrea's data and analytical capabilities with the goal of setting new standards in the CRO industry and driving modernization required to support Fortrea's global operations. Fortrea also expects to benefit from Cognizant's robust life sciences and healthcare technology experience to help address the evolving needs of its customers, including some of the industry's leading enterprises. "Today's announcement reflects Fortrea's renewed organizational agility following our spin-off," said Alejandro Martinez Galindo, Chief Information Officer of Fortrea. "We are selectively investing in clinical applications and platforms that give us and our customers an advantage in the race to bring life-changing treatments to patients faster. As we build the infrastructure that's essential to supporting these platforms and quickly delivering the insights our customers rely on, we have the opportunity to be 'born digital.' Our new modern ecosystem will be designed to speed decision making with innovation in clinical development. Cognizant's deep expertise will help make our vision a reality." "Cognizant is proud to partner with Fortrea as they leverage technology to build a world-class culture of excellence that benefits customers, patients, employees and shareholders," said Cognizant EVP, Software and Platform Engineering, Prasad Sankaran. "With our deep domain expertise in clinical trial platforms, medical administration automation and secure collaboration, we can help Fortrea fortify its position as an independent, best-in-class digital, global Contract Research Organization." "We're looking forward to bringing Cognizant expertise from across our service portfolio to support Fortrea's goal of providing a seamless digital experience for their customers. And we expect our work together will help Fortrea achieve a step-change from the legacy systems common across the industry, to a fully digital ecosystem leveraging the latest technology, which should result in better customer experiences and greater efficiency," said Cognizant EVP & President of the Americas, Surya Gummadi. About Cognizant Cognizant engineers modern businesses. We help our clients modernize technology, reimagine processes and transform experiences so they can stay ahead in our fast-changing world. Together, we're improving everyday life. About Fortrea Fortrea is a leading global provider of clinical development and patient access solutions to the life sciences industry. We partner with emerging and large biopharmaceutical, medical device and diagnostic companies to drive healthcare innovation that accelerates life changing therapies to patients in need. Fortrea provides phase I-IV clinical trial management, clinical pharmacology, differentiated technology-enabled trial solutions and post-approval services. Fortrea's solutions leverage three decades of experience spanning more than 20 therapeutic areas, a passion for scientific rigor, exceptional insights and a strong investigator site network. Our talented and diverse team of about 19,000 people working in more than 90 countries is scaled to deliver focused and agile solutions to customers globally.

Read More