GAINESVILLE, Fla. and CAMBRIDGE, Mass. and COLUMBIA, Md., Aug. 15, 2017 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Applied Genetics Technology Corporation (NASDAQ:AGTC), a biotechnology company conducting human clinical trials of adeno-associated virus (AAV)-based gene therapies for the treatment of rare diseases, and the Foundation Fighting Blindness (FFB) announced today a partnership agreement to support the organizations' shared mission to advance gene therapy research to treat inherited retinal diseases.
"We are grateful to AGTC for its continued support of the Foundation," says Valerie Navy-Daniels, FFB's chief development officer. "AGTC's support will allow us to bring information about the advancements in treating inherited retinal diseases to more people and in doing so helps us get closer to our goal of bringing hope to people affected by these blinding conditions."
Under the terms of the agreement, AGTC will provide grant funding to support the Foundation's My Retina Tracker® registry as well as a genetic testing study designed to identify barriers that are preventing greater patient participation in genetic testing. With AGTC's support, additional registry participants who have been diagnosed with X-linked retinoschisis (XLRS), X-linked retinitis pigmentosa (XLRP) or achromatopsia will have the opportunity to receive a genetic test to support their diagnosis and determine their potential eligibility for one of the AGTC sponsored gene therapy clinical trials.
My Retina Tracker is an online, confidential patient registry for people affected by inherited retinal diseases. The registry collects data with the intention of using the aggregated knowledge to advance research and to help accelerate clinical trial enrollment by providing a source of information about people affected by retinal diseases. The registry is free for people affected by inherited orphan retinal diseases, and is designed with state-of-the-art technology to protect user privacy. To learn more about My Retina Tracker, visit www.MyRetinaTracker.org or contact the registry's coordinator at coordinator@MyRetinaTracker.org.
"We are proud to extend our collaboration with the Foundation Fighting Blindness as they share our mission to develop treatments for individuals with inherited retinal diseases," said Sue Washer, President and CEO of AGTC. "FFB's early support of AGTC's research efforts helped us advance our gene therapy candidates into clinical trials that have the potential to improve the lives of patients. The FFB's profound impact on the landscape for those suffering from inherited retinal diseases is evidenced by the creation of their registry, My Retina Tracker, which will deliver genetic data that is vital to the evolution of gene-based therapies."
AGTC will be a Silver Level Outreach Partner during the Foundation's current fiscal year. As a Silver Outreach Partner, AGTC will help fund FFB Vision Seminars and Chapter meetings nationwide. In November, AGTC will provide additional support for FFB's Boston VisionWalk as a Community Captain for that event.
AGTC is currently scheduling patients for enrollment in clinical trials for XLRS as well as for achromatopsia caused by mutations in the CNGB3 and CNGA3 genes. The company also plans to initiate a clinical study evaluating the safety and efficacy of its proprietary gene therapy for X-linked retinitis pigmentosa (XLRP) caused by mutations in the RPGR gene in the United States in the coming months. Patients and caregivers interested in participating in or learning about AGTC's current and upcoming clinical trials may visit www.agtc.com/patients-and-caregivers or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
AGTC is a clinical-stage biotechnology company that uses its proprietary gene therapy platform to develop products designed to transform the lives of patients with severe diseases, with an initial focus in ophthalmology. AGTC's lead product candidates are designed to treat inherited orphan diseases of the eye, caused by mutations in single genes that significantly affect visual function and currently lack effective medical treatments.
AGTC's product pipeline includes ophthalmology programs in XLRS, XLRP, achromatopsia, wet age-related macular degeneration, and an optogenetics program with Bionic Sight. AGTC's non-ophthalmology programs include its adrenoleukodystrophy program and its otology program, which is in pre-clinical development, and the company expects to advance several otology product candidates into clinical development in the next few years. Each of AGTC's XLRS, XLRP and adrenoleukodystrophy programs is part of its collaboration and license agreement with Biogen. AGTC employs a highly-targeted approach to selecting and designing its product candidates, choosing to develop therapies for indications having high unmet medical need that it believes are clinically feasible and present commercial opportunities. AGTC has a significant intellectual property portfolio and extensive expertise in the design of gene therapy products including capsids, promoters and expression cassettes, as well as, expertise in the formulation, manufacture and physical delivery of gene therapy products.
About the Foundation Fighting Blindness
Since the Foundation Fighting Blindness was established in 1971 it has raised more than $700 million toward its mission to prevent, treat and cure blindness caused by inherited retinal diseases. In excess of 10 million Americans, and millions more worldwide, experience vision loss due to retinal degenerations. Through its support of focused and innovative science, and by teaming with industry, the Foundation drives the research that has and will continue to provide treatments and cures for people affected by retinitis pigmentosa, macular degeneration, Usher syndrome and other inherited retinal diseases. Our goal is to advance the most promising retinal disease research in the world and across the spectrum of retinal degenerative diseases. You can help. Every donation moves us closer to a cure. Learn more about the Foundation at www.fightblindness.org.
Foundation Fighting Blindness
Deputy Chief Development Officer
T: 410 423-0635
Applied Genetic Technologies Corporation
Chief Business Officer
T: (617) 413-2754
AGTC IR/PR CONTACTS:
David Carey (IR)
Lazar Partners Ltd.
T: (212) 867-1768
Lazar Partners for AGTC (PR)
T: (212) 867-1762