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Gene therapy to cure leukemia at one-tenth global costs in the works

Posted on: 13 June 2022, source: Business Standard
ImmunoACT, an IIT-Bombay spin-off backed by Hyderabad-based Laurus Labs, is testing a new gene-therapy treatment for cancer, which they claim would not only cure the disease, but also costs one-tenth of the global price. “We are working with CD19 CAR T Cell for leukemia and lymphoma. What we do is we take out some blood and plasma from the cancer patient, and then isolate the T-cells (which are immune cells) from this sample. These cells are then genetically modified so that they eliminate cancer cells. Then this is transfused back to the patient,” explains Rahul Purwar, founder and chairman of ImmunoACT. The product is named H-CAR T-19.
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Gene Therapy Successfully Treats Spinal Cord Injuries Without Side Effects

Posted on: 31 May 2022, source: SciTechDaily
In mouse studies, pain-blocking neurotransmitters produced long-lasting benefits without detectable side effects. An international team of researchers led by scientists at the University of California San Diego School of Medicine reported that a gene therapy that inhibits targeted nerve cell signaling effectively reduced neuropathic pain in mice with spinal cord or peripheral nerve injuries with no detectable side effects.
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Updates on gene therapy for ‘bubble boy’ disease and cellular immunotherapy at ASGCT

Posted on: 15 May 2022, source: ASGCT
St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital scientists will discuss research on cellular therapies for pediatric cancer and more at the annual gathering of the professional society for gene and cellular therapy researchers.
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AAV Durability: The Road to a One-Shot Cure

Posted on: 15 April 2022, source: Hansonwade
Inconsistent long-term clinical data has highlighted the need to better understand the durability of AAV gene therapy. At Hanson Wade Intelligence, our Market Research division, we have classified 121 AAV gene therapy trials into 4 distinct groups based on the target tissue type – liver, muscle, CNS and ocular tissues. This allowed us to summarise available data on clinical durability as well as the key findings we observed across tissues, trials, doses and serotypes. We hope that this report will provide gene therapy developers with valuable insights on the durability of the current generation of AAV gene therapies.
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Gene Therapy Sector Needs Better Cell Lines for Vector Production

Posted on: 4 April 2022, source: Genengnews
Gene therapy developers targeting diseases requiring high dose therapies face a challenge. Current vector production cell lines and genetic manipulation techniques are too costly for large-scale manufacturing, according to new research. The study, by scientists at Portugal’s Instituto de Biologia Experimental e Tecnológica (iBET), looked at areas of gene therapy production where innovation is needed.
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Gene Therapy Turns to the Use of Synthetic Biology Principles

Posted on: 4 March 2022, source: Genengnews
A new university spinout company is hoping to use synthetic biology to transform gene therapy manufacture. SynGenSys, from the University of Sheffield, plans to tap into engineering design principles to create synthetic promoters to target therapeutic genes to the correct patient tissues. “Typically, people use viral promoters, such as cytomegalovirus as their go-to promoter, but it’s a really complex piece of DNA active in many human tissues,” says David C. James, PhD, professor of bioprocess engineering and co-founder of SynGenSys.
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Lentiviral vector-based gene therapy demonstrates long-term safety and efficacy for Wiskott-Aldrich Syndrome

Posted on: 11 February 2022, source: MedicalXpress
Genethon, a unique non-profit gene therapy R&D organization founded by the French Muscular Dystrophy Association (AFM-Telethon), announced today that its lentiviral based gene therapy, developed in collaboration with French and British teams, has demonstrated long-term efficacy in eight patients with Wiskott-Aldrich syndrome, a rare and severe immune deficiency.
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Nanoscope Therapeutics announces FDA clearance of IND for MCO-010 gene therapy in Stargardt patients

Posted on: 26 January 2022, source: Ophthalmology Times
Nanoscope Therapeutics Inc. announced that it has received IND clearance from the FDA to begin a Phase 2 trial of its Multi-Characteristic Opsin (MCO-010) ambient-light activatable optogenetic monotherapy to restore vision in Stargardt patients.
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Avrobio stops work on rare disease gene therapy after unexpected study results

Posted on: 6 January 2022, source: Biopharmadive
Avrobio, a Cambridge, Massachusetts-based gene therapy developer, will unexpectedly stop work on one of its most advanced treatments, citing disappointing results from a clinical trial that contrast with earlier, more promising findings. In a statement Tuesday, Avrobio said it would stop recruiting patients into a mid-stage study testing its gene therapy for Fabry disease, a rare inherited disorder, and deprioritize the research program. Monitoring will continue for the 14 Fabry patients who have received Avrobio's therapy so far.
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New Bespoke Gene Therapy Consortium Is Welcome Development

Posted on: 10 December 2021, source: Pharmaceutical Executive
The creation of the Bespoke Gene Therapy Consortium (BGTC) in the US is welcome news, especially if it achieves its ambition to accelerate the delivery of more gene therapies for rare diseases. The new body is headed and funded by FDA and the National Institutes of Health (NIH), with other stakeholders including small biotechs, major pharma brands, and non-profit organizations.
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DMD Gene Therapy Candidate RGX-202 Earns Orphan Drug Status

Posted on: 30 November 2021, source: Bionews
RGX-202, a one-time experimental gene therapy for the treatment of Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD), has been granted orphan drug designation by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). The designation is given to investigational therapies to treat rare medical conditions or diseases that affect fewer than 200,000 people in the U.S. Orphan drug status provides benefits to support the process of developing new therapeutics, including tax credits for costs associated with clinical trials, exemptions from certain fees, and marketing exclusivity for seven years if the therapy achieves FDA approval.
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NIH and FDA Lead Coalition to Accelerate Gene Therapy Development for Rare Diseases

Posted on: 31 October 2021, source: NIH
The National Institutes of Health (NIH) announced the formation of the Bespoke Gene Therapy Consortium (BGTC) on Oct. 27th, 2021. In partnership with FDA, ten pharmaceutical companies, and five non-profits, this coalition is aimed at accelerating development of gene therapies for rare diseases.
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FDA: Interpreting Sameness of Gene Therapy Products Under the Orphan Drug Regulations

Posted on: 13 October 2021, source: FDA
This guidance provides FDA’s current thinking on determining sameness of human gene therapy products under FDA’s orphan drug regulations for the purpose of orphan-drug designation and orphan-drug exclusivity.
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Fourth Boy Dies in Trial of Astellas Gene Therapy Candidate

Posted on: 19 September 2021, source:
Astellas Pharma has acknowledged that a fourth boy has died in the troubled Phase I/II trial through which its Astellas Gene Therapies (formerly Audentes Therapeutics) has been evaluating its adeno-associated virus (AAV) gene therapy candidate AT132 in patients with X-linked Myotubular Myopathy (XLMTM). Unlike the other three boys who all died last year in the Phase I/II ASPIRO trial (NCT03199469), the fourth—whose age has not been disclosed—received the lower dose of 1.3×10e14 vg/kg.
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New gene-delivering workhorse could make gene therapy safer, more effective for muscle diseases

Posted on: 13 September 2021, source: Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard
Genetic muscle diseases lead to progressive muscle wasting and often early death, with few treatment options and no cure. Some gene therapies that use a harmless virus to deliver a functioning copy of a disease-causing gene to cells have shown promise in clinical trials for a subset of muscular dystrophies, but have faced challenges. High doses of the gene-carrying virus are needed to reach the muscles throughout the body and the viruses used in these trials often end up in the liver more than in the muscle. This has led to high levels of the virus in the liver, severe adverse side effects, and even death in some trial participants. Researchers at the Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard and Harvard University have developed a new family of adeno-associated viruses (AAVs) - the gene-delivering workhorse of gene therapy - that improve targeting of the muscle tissue, which could be safer and more effective for patients with muscle disease.
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Lysogene Announces First Patient in the United States Dosed with LYS-GM101 Investigational Gene Therapy for the Treatment of GM1 Gangliosidosis

Posted on: 30 August 2021, source: BioPharma Dive
Lysogene (FR0013233475 – LYS) (Paris:LYS), a phase 3 gene therapy platform company targeting central nervous system (CNS) diseases, today announced dosing of the first patient in the United States with LYS-GM101 investigational gene therapy at CHOC Hospital (CHOC) in a global adaptative-design clinical trial (NCT04273269) for the treatment of GM1 gangliosidosis. This trial is an interventional, multi-center, single-arm, two-stage adaptive-design study evaluating the intracisternal delivery of a recombinant adeno-associated virus vector serotype rh.10 (AAVrh.10) carrying the human β-galactosidase gene (GBL1). The clinical trial includes a safety phase and a confirmatory efficacy phase. The trial will enroll 16 patients with a diagnosis of early or late infantile GM1 gangliosidosis at sites in the US and Europe.
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FDA allows Novartis gene therapy trials to resume after nearly 2 year pause

Posted on: 10 August 2021, source: BioPharma Dive
Novartis on Tuesday said it will begin a new study of its gene therapy Zolgensma in older patients with spinal muscular atrophy following the Food and Drug Administration's clearance of administration via a spinal infusion. The regulator had suspended testing of that dosing in October 2019 due to safety concerns.
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Gene therapy delivered to the brain shows promise in children with rare neurodegenerative disease

Posted on: 16 July 2021, source: FierceBiotech
Scientists from Ohio State University have developed a novel method for delivering gene therapy to specific regions of the brain. Now, they have evidence from a small clinical trial in children that the treatment could address a rare, inherited neurodegenerative disease. And they believe their technique could eventually be used to treat more common brain diseases, like Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s. The Ohio State team developed the gene therapy to treat aromatic L-amino acid decarboxylase (AADC) deficiency, which hampers the body’s ability to make dopamine and serotonin and results in developmental delays and a range of motor and behavioral symptoms. The gene therapy uses a viral vector to carry DNA-expressing AADC to the brain.
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A year after getting UniQure's gene therapy, hemophilia patients are still doing better

Posted on: 23 June 2021, source: BioPharma Dive
One year after receiving an experimental gene therapy developed by the Dutch drugmaker UniQure, patients with hemophilia B aren't having nearly as many bleeding issues as they used to have. In hemophilia, genetic mutations prevent the body from making proteins needed to clot blood. People with the less common, "B" form of the disorder are missing a protein known as Factor IX. UniQure's medicine is meant to provide a working version of the gene so patients can generate their own clotting protein, and rely less — or ideally, not at all — on so-called replacement factor treatments.
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Decades after a tragic failure, gene therapy successfully treats a rare liver disease

Posted on: 19 May 2021, source: Science
Twenty-two years ago, one of scientists’ first attempts at gene therapy ended in tragedy when a young man died. The story of Jesse Gelsinger, who had a rare liver disorder, became a textbook example of irresponsible medical research. For years, the case hobbled efforts to treat diseases by adding new DNA to a sick person’s cells. Now, a fresh effort to cure Gelsinger’s disease is bearing fruit, in the latest sign of the field’s resurgence.
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New gene therapy restores dystrophin protein in patients with Duchenne muscular dystrophy

Posted on: 4 May 2021, source:
UT Southwestern scientists successfully employed a new type of gene therapy to treat mice with Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD), uniquely utilizing CRISPR-Cas9-based tools to restore a large section of the dystrophin protein that is missing in many DMD patients. The approach, described online today in the journal Science Advances, could lead to a treatment for DMD and inform the treatment of other inherited diseases.
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New approach to CAR T gene therapy yields efficient and longer-lasting response against HIV

Posted on: 5 April 2021, source:
A UCLA research team has shown that using a truncated form of the CD4 molecule as part of a gene therapy to combat HIV yielded superior and longer-lasting results in mouse models than previous similar therapies using the CD4 molecule. This new approach to CAR T gene therapy -- a type of immunotherapy that involves genetically engineering the body's own blood-forming stem cells to create HIV-fighting T cells -- has the potential to not only destroy HIV-infected cells but to create "memory cells" that could provide lifelong protection from infection with the virus that causes AIDS.
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EMA Launches Safety Review After Gene Therapy Trial Patient Develops Blood Cancer

Posted on: 13 March 2021, source: BioSpace
The European Medicines Agency (EMA) has launched a safety review of bluebird bio’s thalassaemia drug Zynteglo, a conditionally licensed gene therapy in Europe. This review comes after researchers identified an acute myeloid leukaemia (AML) case in a patient who received bb1111 (LentiGlobin), an investigational gene therapy for sickle cell disease (SCD), in a Phase I/II study. This therapy relies on the same viral vector found in Zynteglo which delivers a gene into cells.
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Gene therapy trials for sickle cell disease halted after two patients develop cancer

Posted on: 22 February 2021, source: Science
A company has stopped its clinical studies of a promising gene therapy for the blood disorder sickle cell disease after two people who participated developed leukemia-like cancer. Bluebird bio is now investigating whether a virus it uses to deliver a therapeutic gene caused the cancers, reviving old concerns about the risks of this approach. It’s also possible the cancers stemmed from chemotherapy the patients received to prepare their bodies for the gene’s delivery. “This is really a sad development whatever the cause,” says Donald Kohn of the University of California, Los Angeles, who has led gene therapy trials for sickle cell and other diseases.
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Manufacturing Considerations for Licensed and Investigational Cellular and Gene Therapy Products During COVID-19 Public Health Emergency

Posted on: 24 January 2021, source: FDA
FDA is issuing this guidance to provide manufacturers of licensed and investigational cellular therapy and gene therapy (CGT) products with risk-based recommendations to minimize potential transmission of the novel coronavirus, severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2). This guidance is intended to supplement the recommendations to drug and biological product manufacturers provided in FDA’s “Good Manufacturing Practice Considerations for Responding to COVID-19 Infection in Employees in Drug and Biological Products Manufacturing; Guidance for Industry” issued in June 2020 (Ref. 1) (June 2020 GMP Guidance). The recommendations in this guidance specifically consider the source material (cells and/or tissues) recovered from donors and how the CGT product will be manufactured (e.g., cell expansion in culture, viral reduction steps, formulation).
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Liver tumor in gene therapy recipient raises concerns about virus widely used in treatment

Posted on: 23 December 2020, source: Science
It’s troubling news that gene therapy researchers have long anticipated: A hemophilia patient injected with a virus carrying a therapeutic gene in a clinical trial has developed a liver tumor. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has halted the associated clinical trials, and uniQure, the Dutch firm behind the studies, is now investigating whether the virus itself caused the cancer. Gene therapy experts say that’s unlikely. The patient had underlying conditions that predisposed him to liver cancer. Still, scientists say it’s crucial to rule out any role for adeno-associated virus (AAV), the viral delivery system, or vector, that is used in hundreds of other gene therapy trials. “Everyone will want to know what happened,” says physician-scientist David Lillicrap of Queen’s University, a hemophilia researcher who was not involved with the uniQure study.
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Gene Therapy in One Eye Improves Vision in Both Eyes

Posted on: 12 December 2020, source: The Scientist
It’s not clear why the patients with Leber hereditary optic neuropathy, a mitochondrial disorder that causes blindness, also experienced the modest benefits in their untreated eye. In a Phase 3 gene therapy trial intended to improve vision among patients with Leber hereditary optic neuropathy, recipients gained somewhat better sight in both eyes even though only one was treated. The results and an investigation into possible explanations for the findings were published December 9 in Science Translational Medicine.
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NIH project aims to maximize efficiency of AAV platform for gene therapy

Posted on: 19 November 2020, source: News-Medical.Net
Maximizing the efficiency of the adeno-associated virus (AAV) platform for gene therapy is the aim of a new pilot project of the National Institutes of Health (NIH). The NIH Platform Vector Gene Therapy (PaVe-GT) project is reported in the peer-reviewed journal Human Gene Therapy. Click here to read the full-text article free through December 16, 2020. "PaVe-GT is an experimental translational science initiative that aims to leverage the power of platform vectors and disease relatedness to help deliver on the promise of gene therapy to patients with rare diseases," states the NIH PaVe-GT team.
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COVID-19, manufacturing challenges limit cell and gene therapy progress, FDA official says

Posted on: 30 October 2020, source: FDA/
Progress in the field of gene and cell therapy continues with rapid development despite the negative impact of COVID-19 on research into novel treatments, according to the director of FDA’s Center for Biologics Evaluation and Research. Peter Marks, MD, PhD, delivered this assessment during the virtual Cell & Gene Meeting on the Mesa.
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Gene Therapy in Mesothelioma Patients

Posted on: 28 September 2020, source:
Around 1 in 16 people will be diagnosed with lung cancer in their lifetime; this accounts for about 13% of all new cancer diagnoses. However, even with a relatively lower diagnosis rate, lung cancer currently has the highest number of cancer deaths at nearly 22%. Among all the various subtypes of cancer categorized under the umbrella term, “lung cancer,” mesothelioma is one of the most lethal forms.
Despite accounting for around .2% of all cancer diagnoses in the United States, mesothelioma’s lethality is among the highest of all forms of cancer. Pleural mesothelioma, the most common form of this cancer, has a 10-year survival rate of only about 5%. Currently, the only known cause of mesothelioma is asbestos exposure, and although no amount of exposure is safe, it is important to note that your risk of developing mesothelioma drastically increases the longer you are exposed. In addition, due to a prolonged latency period, many patients are diagnosed far too late for proper treatment — usually around the age of 65-74.
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