In March, Allergan plc and Editas Medicine, Inc. announced the treatment of the first patient in the BRILLIANCE clinical trial of AGN-151587 (EDIT-101) at Oregon Health & Science University (OHSU) Casey Eye Institute, an academic eye center. Scientists say that the gene editing tool, CRISPR, used in this trail is the first time CRISPR has been deployed inside someone’s body.
EDIT-101 is an experimental medicine delivered via sub-retinal injection under development for the treatment of Leber congenital amaurosis 10 (LCA10), an inherited form of blindness caused by mutations in the centrosomal protein 290 (CEP290) gene. The BRILLIANCE clinical trial is a Phase 1/2 study to evaluate AGN-151587 for the treatment of patients diagnosed with LCA10 and is the world’s first human study of an in vivo, or inside the body, CRISPR genome editing medicine. The trial will assess the safety, tolerability, and efficacy of AGN-151587 in approximately 18 patients with LCA10.
“This dosing is a truly historic event – for science, for medicine, and most importantly for people living with this eye disease,” said Cynthia Collins, President and CEO, Editas Medicine. “The first patient dosed in the BRILLIANCE clinical trial marks a significant milestone toward delivering on the promise and potential of CRISPR medicines to durably treat devastating diseases such as LCA10. We look forward to sharing future updates from this clinical trial and our ocular program.”
“Currently patients living with LCA10 have no approved treatment options. For years, Allergan has had an unwavering commitment to advancing eye care treatments. With the first patient treated in this historic clinical trial, we mark a significant step in advancing the AGN-151587 clinical program and move closer to our goal of developing a game-changing medicine for LCA10 patients,” said Brent Saunders, Chairman and CEO, Allergan.
“Our first treatment in this clinical trial is an important step toward bringing new and promising treatments to patients with disease-causing gene mutations. OHSU is honored to be involved in this effort to address previously untreatable diseases such as Leber congenital amaurosis 10,” said Mark Pennesi, M.D., Ph.D., Associate Professor of Ophthalmology, Kenneth C. Swan Endowed Professor, Division Chief, Paul H. Casey Ophthalmic Genetics, Casey Eye Institute, Oregon Health & Science University, Principal Investigator and enrolling physician of the first patient treated with AGN-151587.
Eric A. Pierce, M.D., Ph.D., Director of the Inherited Retinal Disorders Service and Director of the Ocular Genomics Institute at Massachusetts Eye and Ear, and the William F. Chatlos Professor of Ophthalmology at Harvard Medical School, and a Principal Investigator for the BRILLIANCE clinical trial also commented, “We have a long history at Massachusetts Eye and Ear of helping develop life-changing medicines for our patients, and we are thrilled to be a leader in the development of a CRISPR-based experimental medicine to treat CEP290-associated retinal disease with Allergan and Editas.”
About the BRILLIANCE Phase 1/2 Clinical Trial of AGN-151587 (EDIT-101)
The BRILLIANCE Phase 1/2 clinical trial of AGN-151587 (EDIT-101) for the treatment of Leber congenital amaurosis 10 (LCA10) will assess the safety, tolerability, and efficacy of AGN-151587 in approximately 18 patients with this disorder. Up to five cohorts of patients across three dose levels will be enrolled in this open label, multi-center, clinical trial. Both adult and pediatric patients (3 – 17 years old) with a range of baseline visual acuity assessments are eligible for enrollment. Patients will receive a single administration of AGN-151587 via subretinal injection in one eye. Additional details are available on www.clinicaltrials.gov (NCT#03872479).
About AGN-151587 (EDIT-101)
AGN-151587 (EDIT-101) is a CRISPR-based experimental medicine under investigation for the treatment of Leber congenital amaurosis 10 (LCA10). AGN-151587 is administered via a subretinal injection to deliver the gene editing machinery directly to photoreceptor cells.
About Leber Congenital Amaurosis
Leber congenital amaurosis, or LCA, is a group of inherited retinal degenerative disorders caused by mutations in at least 18 different genes. It is the most common cause of inherited childhood blindness, with an incidence of two to three per 100,000 live births worldwide. Symptoms of LCA appear within the first years of life, resulting in significant vision loss and potentially blindness. The most common form of the disease, LCA10, is a monogenic disorder caused by mutations in the CEP290 gene and is the cause of disease in approximately 20‑30 percent of all LCA patients.
About the Editas Medicine-Allergan Alliance
In March 2017, Editas Medicine and Allergan Pharmaceuticals International Limited (Allergan) entered a strategic alliance and option agreement under which Allergan received exclusive access and the option to license up to five of Editas Medicine’s genome editing programs for ocular diseases, including AGN-151587 (EDIT-101). Under the terms of the agreement, Allergan is responsible for development and commercialization of optioned products, subject to Editas Medicine’s option to co-develop and share equally in the profits and losses of two optioned products in the United States. Editas Medicine is also eligible to receive development and commercial milestones, as well as royalty payments on a per-program basis. The agreement covers a range of first-in-class ocular programs targeting serious, vision-threatening diseases based on Editas Medicine’s unparalleled CRISPR genome editing platform, including CRISPR/Cas9 and CRISPR/Cpf1 (also known as Cas12a). In August 2018, Allergan exercised its option to develop and commercialize AGN-151587 globally for the treatment of LCA10. Additionally, Editas Medicine exercised its option to co-develop and share equally in the profits and losses from AGN-151587 in the U.S.
Image source: Editas Medicine, Inc.
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