FDA knocks back Sarepta in Duchenne gene therapy race with Pfizer, but analysts urge caution
Sarepta has gone all-in on gene therapy over the last few years, racing with Pfizer and Solid Biosciences to be the first to develop a genetic fix for Duchenne muscular dystrophy, one of the most common rare diseases.
Sarepta has been comfortably in the lead, collecting the first positive results and snaring a $1.15 billion cash commercialization deal with Roche, but this week the company hit a snag. Late yesterday, Sarepta provided a “program update” for its gene therapy, revealing that in a scheduled meeting the FDA had raised concerns about the kinds of tests they would use to measure potency in the pivotal study and commercial supply for the gene therapy. The company has assays that might fit the criteria, they said, but “needed additional dialogue” with the agency to confirm.
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