PHILADELPHIA, March 25, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- Spark Therapeutics and Genable Technologies announced today that they have entered into a collaboration agreement for Genable's lead therapeutic to treat rhodopsin-linked autosomal dominant retinitis pigmentosa (RHO adRP), GT038. Under the terms of the collaboration, Genable will license certain adeno-associated virus (AAV) vector manufacturing patents from Spark. The parties have entered into a broad agreement in which Spark will be the exclusive manufacturer of the product and provide development advice and expertise to Genable to help in the ongoing development of GT038. Spark will receive milestone payments and royalties on future sales of GT038, as well as near-term revenue from the manufacture and supply of product.
"We are excited to apply our deep expertise in AAV clinical development and manufacturing to augment Genable's great work, and expand the number of debilitating diseases of the eye that can be addressed through gene therapy," said Jeffrey D. Marrazzo, Spark Therapeutics co-founder, president and CEO.
Dr. Jason Loveridge, CEO of Genable Technologies commented, "We have chosen Spark as our partner to advise, lend their experience and manufacture GT038 based on their broad expertise in gene therapy. We see them as a world-class organization, and we are excited to be advancing our novel therapy GT038 into the clinic."
"The collaboration with Spark provides an exciting opportunity to greatly expedite development of Genable's novel therapy targeted towards RHO-adRP," said Professor Jane Farrar, founder and director, Genable Technologies; professor, Trinity College (Dublin).
GT038 is a potential treatment for rhodopsin (RHO)-linked autosomal dominant retinitis pigmentosa (adRP), an inherited retinal dystrophy that leads to blindness in most cases. There is currently no approved pharmacologic treatment for adRP, which affects an estimated 30,000 patients worldwide. GT038 utilizes AAV vectors with an established safety and efficacy profile to deliver RNA interference (RNAi) molecules to suppress the expression of faulty and normal copies of RHO and restore normal gene expression. GT038 has been granted Orphan Drug Designation in both the U.S. and Europe.
About Genable Technologies
Genable Technologies Ltd. is a privately held, venture-capital-backed, Dublin (Ireland)- based bio-pharmaceutical company. The company is developing new gene therapies to treat "dominant" genetic diseases. The company has received significant support and investment form Fountain Healthcare Partners, Delta Partners, Fighting Blindness Ireland, Foundation Fighting Blindness Clinical Research Institute (U.S.) and Enterprise Ireland. To learn more please visit www.genable.net
About Spark Therapeutics
Spark Therapeutics is developing potentially curative, one-time gene therapy products to transform the lives of patients and re-imagine the treatment of debilitating diseases. Spark's lead gene therapy candidate, for RPE65-related blindness, is currently in Phase 3 clinical trials with the potential to be the first approved gene therapy in the U.S., and the first treatment to address the significant unmet needs of patients living with blindness due to inherited retinal dystrophies.
Spark's founding team includes scientists who led the movement to develop gene therapy as a new treatment paradigm, establishing clinical proof of concept in the eye and liver and contributing key insights to the field that have resulted in a resurgence of industry interest in gene-based medicines. In addition to the Phase 3 program in RPE65-related blindness, the company has a Phase 1/2 program in hemophilia B, and preclinical programs to address neurodegenerative diseases and other inherited retinal dystrophies and hematologic disorders. Spark has rights to a proprietary manufacturing platform that has an unparalleled track record of success in supporting clinical studies across diverse therapeutic areas and routes of administration. The company's expertise across research, clinical, regulatory and manufacturing builds on a legacy of innovation and excellence in gene therapy established by Spark's team while at The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia Center for Cellular and Molecular Therapeutics. To learn more visit www.sparktx.com.