CAMBRIDGE, Mass.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–$AVRO—AVROBIO, Inc. (NASDAQ: AVRO) (the “Company”), today announced that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has granted orphan-drug designation for the Company’s investigational gene therapy, AVR-RD-02, for the treatment of Gaucher disease. AVR-RD-02 consists of the patient’s own hematopoietic stem cells, genetically modified to express glucocerebrosidase (GCase), the enzyme that is deficient in Gaucher disease. The Company is actively recruiting in Canada for its Phase 1/2 clinical trial of AVR-RD-02, which seeks to evaluate the safety and efficacy of the therapy in patients with Type 1 Gaucher disease.
“Under the existing standard of care, patients with Gaucher disease are bound to a lifelong infusion schedule of enzyme replacement therapies, and still experience painful and progressive symptoms such as debilitating musculoskeletal pain and fatigue,” said Birgitte Volck, MD, PhD, President of Research and Development at AVROBIO. “Orphan-drug designation recognizes the unmet need of populations with rare diseases like Gaucher where AVROBIO strives to transform lives by addressing the underlying cause of the disease with a single dose of gene therapy.”
Orphan-drug designation is granted by the FDA to drugs and biologics which are intended for the safe and effective treatment, diagnosis or prevention of rare diseases or conditions that affect fewer than 200,000 people in the United States. Orphan-drug designation provides certain incentives, which may include tax credits towards the cost of clinical trials and prescription drug user fee waivers.
AVR-RD-02 is an ex vivo lentiviral-based investigational gene therapy designed to provide durable and potentially life-long therapeutic benefit for patients with Gaucher disease with a single dose of the patient’s own hematopoietic stem cells. The stem cells are genetically modified to express functional glucocerebrosidase (GCase), which reduces levels of glucosylceramide and glucosylsphingosine, the accumulated substances which cause the symptoms of Gaucher disease.
About AVROBIO, Inc.
AVROBIO is a leading, Phase 2 gene therapy company focused on the development of its investigational gene therapy, AVR-RD-01, in Fabry disease, as well as additional gene therapy programs in other lysosomal storage disorders including Gaucher disease, cystinosis and Pompe disease. The Company’s plato™ platform includes a proprietary vector system, automated cell manufacturing solution and a personalized conditioning regimen deploying state-of-the-art precision dosing. AVROBIO is headquartered in Cambridge, MA and has offices in Toronto, ON. For additional information, visit www.avrobio.com.
This press release contains forward-looking statements, including statements made pursuant to the safe harbor provisions of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. These statements may be identified by words such as “aims,” “anticipates,” “believes,” “could,” “estimates,” “expects,” “forecasts,” “goal,” “intends,” “may,” “plans,” “possible,” “potential,” “seeks,” “will” and variations of these words or similar expressions that are intended to identify forward-looking statements. These forward-looking statements include, without limitation, statements regarding AVROBIO’s expectations regarding the development and the continued progress of AVROBIO’s programs, including the intended incentives conferred by orphan-drug designation, the therapeutic potential of our product candidates, the design, commencement, enrollment and timing of ongoing or planned clinical trials, including the Phase 1/2 clinical trial of the Company’s AVR-RD-02 investigational gene therapy, the anticipated benefits of our gene therapy platform, the expected safety profile of our product candidates, timing and likelihood of success of our current or future product candidates, and the market opportunity for our product candidates. Any such statements in this press release that are not statements of historical fact may be deemed to be forward-looking statements. Results in preclinical or early stage clinical trials may not be indicative of results from later stage or larger scale clinical trials and do not ensure regulatory approval. You should not place undue reliance on these statements, or the scientific data presented.
Any forward-looking statements in this press release are based on AVROBIO’s current expectations, estimates and projections about our industry as well as management’s current beliefs and expectations of future events only as of today and are subject to a number of risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ materially and adversely from those set forth in or implied by such forward-looking statements. These risks and uncertainties include, but are not limited to, the risk that any one or more of AVROBIO’s product candidates will not be successfully developed or commercialized, the risk of cessation or delay of any ongoing or planned clinical trials of AVROBIO or our collaborators, the risk that AVROBIO may not realize the intended benefits of our gene therapy platform, including the features of our plato platform, the risk that our product candidates or procedures in connection with the administration thereof will not have the safety or efficacy profile that we anticipate, the risk that prior results, such as signals of safety, activity or durability of effect, observed from preclinical or clinical trials, will not be replicated or will not continue in ongoing or future studies or trials involving AVROBIO’s product candidates, the risk that we will be unable to obtain and maintain regulatory approval for our product candidates, the risk that the size and growth potential of the market for our product candidates will not materialize as expected, risks associated with our dependence on third-party suppliers and manufacturers, risks regarding the accuracy of our estimates of expenses and future revenue, risks relating to our capital requirements and needs for additional financing, and risks relating to our ability to obtain and maintain intellectual property protection for our product candidates. For a discussion of these and other risks and uncertainties, and other important factors, any of which could cause AVROBIO’s actual results to differ materially and adversely from those contained in the forward-looking statements, see the section entitled “Risk Factors” in AVROBIO’s most recent Quarterly Report on Form 10-Q, as well as discussions of potential risks, uncertainties and other important factors in AVROBIO’s subsequent filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission. AVROBIO explicitly disclaims any obligation to update any forward-looking statements except to the extent required by law.
Christopher F. Brinzey
Westwicke, an ICR Company
Ten Bridge Communications