Greater Gainesville based Applied Genetic Technologies Corporation (Nasdaq: AGTC), a biotechnology company conducting human clinical trials of adeno-associated virus (AAV)-based gene therapies for the treatment of rare diseases, announced the launch of an innovative mobile vision testing program to conduct follow-up assessments during the COVID-19 pandemic for patients enrolled in the Company’s ongoing clinical trials in X-linked retinitis pigmentosa (XLRP) and achromatopsia (ACHM CNGB3 & ACHM CNGA3).
“We recognize the incredible commitment patients make when they enroll in our trials and our goal is to match that commitment and support them in any way possible,” said Sue Washer, President and CEO of AGTC. “Our highest priority is patients and their safety. During the COVID-19 crisis, patients may be less inclined or find it harder to receive in-person follow up appointments, an important aspect of assessing the safety and efficacy of the therapy. By using a creative patient focused approach to testing via our mobile vision testing program, we “take the test to the patient” to support their needs during this extremely difficult time.”
AGTC’s Mobile Vision Center was launched in partnership with 2020 On-Site, a mobile vision company based in Boston with more than 450 corporate clients, and has been customized to include the necessary testing equipment needed, as well as appropriate safety protocols, to conduct the key follow-up assessments required to determine the potential safety and efficacy of AGTC’s investigational products. The mobile vision testing program is available to patients enrolled in AGTC’s clinical trials across the United States with up-coming scheduled visits for those who want to maintain their follow-up study assessments while restrictions remain in effect due to COVID-19.
AGTC is a clinical-stage biotechnology company developing genetic therapies for people with rare and debilitating ophthalmic, otologic and central nervous system (CNS) diseases. AGTC is a leader in designing and constructing all critical gene therapy elements and bringing them together to develop customized therapies that address real patient needs. Initially focusing on ophthalmology, our goal is to preserve or, hopefully, be able to improve vision in some cases. AGTC has active clinical trials in X-linked retinitis pigmentosa and achromatopsia (ACHM CNGB3 & ACHM CNGA3). Our pre-clinical programs build on our industry leading AAV manufacturing technology and expertise. AGTC is advancing multiple important pipeline candidates to address substantial unmet clinical need in optogenetics, otology and CNS disorders.
About X-linked Retinitis Pigmentosa (XLRP)
XLRP is an inherited condition that causes progressive vision loss in boys and young men. Characteristics of the disease include night blindness in early childhood and progressive constriction of the visual field. In general, XLRP patients experience a gradual decline in visual acuity over the disease course, which results in legal blindness around the 4th decade of life. AGTC was granted U.S. Food and Drug (FDA) orphan drug designation in 2017, as well as European Commission orphan medicinal product designation in 2016, for its gene therapy product candidate to treat XLRP caused by mutations in the RPGR gene.
About Achromatopsia (ACHM)
Achromatopsia is an inherited retinal disease, which is present from birth and is characterized by the lack of cone photoreceptor function. The condition results in markedly reduced visual acuity, extreme light sensitivity causing day blindness, and complete loss of color discrimination. Best-corrected visual acuity in persons affected by achromatopsia, even under subdued light conditions, is usually about 20/200, a level at which people are considered legally blind.