UniQure's gene therapy first up for approval in West

It took four attempts, but UniQure's Glybera has been recommended for approval by the European Medicines Agency as the first gene therapy treatment in a Western nation. It is for treatment of the rare condition lipoprotein lipase deficiency, or LPLD, Bloomberg reports. While two gene therapy products have been approved in China, none have been approved in the Europe or the U.S., according to Savio Woo, a professor of genetics and genomic sciences at the Mount Sinai School of Medicine. UniQure says it is preparing for discussions with the FDA. There are others working on gene therapies, like Bluebird Bio, a closely held company being backed by Sanofi's ($SNY) Genzyme. It is working on therapies for blood conditions including beta thalassemia and sickle cell disease after clinical trials reported positive results. Bluebird also has backing by venture capital firms. Glybera was developed by Amsterdam Molecular Therapeutics (AMT), Bloomberg reports, but the company sold itself to Amsterdam-based UniQure this year after European authorities initially rejected the drug. Story | More