Astellas has made another deal in the gene therapy category, licensing a candidate for treating faecal incontinence from US biotech Juventas Therapeutics. Terms of the deal haven’t been disclosed, but Astellas says it has taken an exclusive option on the non-viral gene therapy – called JVS-100 and in early-stage clinical development – in all world markets except China. It’s paying an upfront fee and will also fund preclinical and clinical studies of the therapy. JVS-100 is Ohio-based Juventas’ lead product candidate and delivers the gene sequence for stromal cell-derived factor-1 (SDF-1), a naturally occurring signalling protein that is thought to activate the body’s tissue repair pathways, using a plasmid vector. The agreement grants Astellas a licence to develop JVS-100 through phase 2a clinical studies, with an option to acquire the therapy for further development and commercialisation if all goes according to plan. Juventas has already tested the candidate in early-stage trials involving more than 180 patients in other indications, including repeat administrations, and says it has no significant side effects. Read more.
Source: PMLiVE, November 23, 2018