The U.S. Food and Drug Administration, the National Institutes of Health, 10 pharmaceutical companies and five non-profit organizations have partnered to accelerate development of gene therapies for the 30 million Americans who suffer from a rare disease. While there are approximately 7,000 rare diseases, only two heritable diseases currently have FDA-approved gene therapies. The newly launched Bespoke Gene Therapy Consortium (BGTC), part of the NIH Accelerating Medicines Partnership (AMP) program and project-managed by the Foundation for the National Institutes of Health (FNIH), aims to optimize and streamline the gene therapy development process to help fill the unmet medical needs of people with rare diseases.
“By leveraging on experience with a platform technology and by standardizing processes, gene therapy product development can be accelerated to allow more timely access to promising new therapies for patients who need them most,” said Peter Marks, M.D., Ph.D., Director of the Food and Drug Administration (FDA)’s Center for Biologics Evaluation and Research. “FDA is committed to developing a regulatory paradigm that can advance gene therapies to meet the needs of patients with rare diseases.”
“Most rare diseases are caused by a defect in a single gene that could potentially be targeted with a customized or ‘bespoke’ therapy that corrects or replaces the defective gene,” said NIH Director Francis S. Collins, M.D., Ph.D. “There are now significant opportunities to improve the complex development process for gene therapies that would accelerate scientific progress and, most importantly, provide benefit to patients by increasing the number of effective gene therapies.”
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