Fourth Gene Therapy Program Targets the Most Common Inherited Juvenile Macular Dystrophy
LEXINGTON, Mass. and LONDON, Nov. 08, 2017 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Nightstar Therapeutics (NASDAQ:NITE), a clinical-stage gene therapy company developing treatments for rare inherited retinal diseases, today announced an expansion of its pipeline with an exclusive global license for a gene therapy program for the treatment of Stargardt disease from Oxford University Innovation.
The gene therapy program utilizes a novel technology developed by the University of Oxford. Preclinical proof-of-concept studies in the Abca4-/- murine model of Stargardt disease have demonstrated the expression, localization and function of the ABCA4 protein.
Stargardt disease is the most common form of inherited juvenile macular dystrophy with a prevalence of one in 10,000. This autosomal recessive disease is linked to mutations in the ABCA4 gene that are inherited from both parents of an affected individual. The progressive central vision loss associated with Stargardt disease is caused by the degeneration of photoreceptor cells in the central portion of the retina called the macula. Stargardt disease typically develops during childhood and adolescence, leading to blindness by the age of twenty. There are currently no treatment options for this disease.
“The licensing of this novel gene therapy program exemplifies our commitment to developing treatments for patients suffering from inherited retinal diseases that would otherwise lead to blindness,” said Dave Fellows, chief executive officer of Nightstar. “We plan to leverage our clinical experience with choroideremia and X-linked retinitis pigmentosa to accelerate the development of this exciting program for the unmet medical need in Stargardt disease.”
Financial terms of the agreement were not disclosed.
Nightstar is a leading clinical-stage gene therapy company focused on developing and commercializing novel one-time treatments for patients suffering from rare inherited retinal diseases that would otherwise progress to blindness. Nightstar’s lead product candidate, NSR-REP1, is being developed as a treatment for patients with choroideremia, a rare, degenerative, genetic retinal disorder that has no current treatments and affects approximately one in every 50,000 people. Positive results from a Phase 1/2 trial of NSR-REP1 were published in The Lancet in 2014 and in The New England Journal of Medicine in 2016. Nightstar plans to commence a Phase 3 registrational trial of NSR-REP1 for choroideremia at sites in the United States, Europe and Canada in the first half of 2018. Nightstar’s second product candidate, NSR-RPGR, is currently being evaluated in a Phase 1/2 clinical trial for the treatment of patients with X-linked retinitis pigmentosa, an inherited X-linked recessive retinal disease that affects approximately one in every 40,000 people.
For more information about Nightstar or its clinical trials, please visit www.nightstartx.com.
About Oxford University Innovation
Oxford University Innovation (OUI) supports innovation activities across all divisions of the University of Oxford, managing technology transfer and consulting activities, and providing an innovation management service to clients around the world. OUI provides access to technology from Oxford researchers through intellectual property licensing, spinout company formation and material sales, and to academic expertise through its Consulting Services team. The New Venture Support & Funding team of OUI supports investors or donors with an interest in early-stage ventures, and manages the Oxford Angels Network. OUI’s Startup Incubator supports members and ex-members of the University who wish to start or grow entrepreneur-driven ventures that are not University spinouts.
This press release contains “forward-looking statements” within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995, including, but not limited to: statements about our plans to develop and commercialize our product candidates, our planned clinical trials for NSR-REP1 and NSR-RPGR, the clinical utility of our product candidates, the prevalence of patient populations for our targeted indications, and the utility of prior preclinical and clinical data in determining future clinical results. These forward-looking statements are based on management’s current expectations of future events and are subject to a number of involve substantial known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors that may cause our actual results, levels of activity, performance or achievements to be materially different from the information expressed or implied by these forward-looking statements, including the risks and uncertainties set forth in the “Risk Factors” section of our prospectus filed pursuant to Rule 424(b)(4) under the U.S. Securities Act of 1933, as amended, on September 28, 2017, and subsequent reports that we file with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. We may not actually achieve the plans, intentions or expectations disclosed in our forward-looking statements, and you should not place undue reliance on our forward-looking statements. Actual results or events could differ materially from the plans, intentions and expectations disclosed in the forward-looking statements we make. The forward-looking statements in this press release represent our views as of the date hereof. We anticipate that subsequent events and developments will cause our views to change. However, while we may elect to update these forward-looking statements at some point in the future, we have no current intention of doing so except to the extent required by applicable law. You should, therefore, not rely on these forward-looking statements as representing our views as of any date subsequent to the date of this press release.
Senthil Sundaram, Chief Financial Officer
Alicia Davis, THRUST IR
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