AVROBIO receives rare pediatric disease designation from U.S. FDA for first gene therapy in development for cystinosis

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has granted rare pediatric disease designation to AVROBIO’s AVR-RD-04, an investigational gene therapy for the treatment of cystinosis, a life-threatening disease that causes progressive multi-organ damage, including early, acute kidney disease progressing to end-stage kidney disease.

FDA’s Rare Pediatric Disease Designation and Voucher Program is intended to facilitate the development of new drugs and biologics for the prevention and treatment of rare pediatric diseases. Companies that receive approval for a New Drug Application (NDA) or Biologics License Application (BLA) for a rare pediatric disease may be eligible to receive a voucher for a priority review of a subsequent marketing application for a different product. The priority review voucher may be used by the company or sold to a third party.

AVR-RD-04 is designed to genetically modify patients’ own hematopoietic stem cells (HSCs) to express the gene encoding cystinosin, the protein that is critically deficient in people living with cystinosis.

Preliminary data from the ongoing University of California San Diego Phase 1/2 clinical trial suggest that this approach is well tolerated, with no adverse events (AEs) related to the drug product reported to date.

All AEs reported were related to myeloablative conditioning, stem cell mobilization, underlying disease or pre-existing conditions. The majority of AEs were mild or moderate and resolved without clinical sequelae.

Clinical data to date indicate this investigational approach provides benefits in multiple tissues evaluated, including the eyes, skin, gastrointestinal mucosa and the neurocognitive system. The collaborator-sponsored Phase 1/2 clinical trial is funded in part by grants to University of California San Diego from the California Institute for Regenerative Medicine (CIRM), Cystinosis Research Foundation (CRF) and National Institutes of Health (NIH).

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