Rob Lin, Avista Therapeutics CEO

Fol­low­ing Lux­tur­na and slate of eye dis­ease ap­provals, Roche adds an­oth­er oph­thal­mol­o­gy part­ner for AAV gene ther­a­pies

Roche’s oph­thal­mol­o­gy am­bi­tions have grown steadi­ly in re­cent years with two eye dis­ease ap­provals in the past year and the ac­qui­si­tion of Spark and its Lux­tur­na gene ther­a­py in 2019, and the Big Phar­ma is dou­bling down in the space with an­oth­er gene ther­a­py tie-up.

In­stead of Philadel­phia, Roche has head­ed to Pitts­burgh for this deal, link­ing arms with a Uni­ver­si­ty of Pitts­burgh Med­ical Cen­ter spin­out de­vel­op­ing new AAV gene ther­a­py vec­tors that the biotech’s CEO hopes will ad­dress lim­i­ta­tions of ex­ist­ing treat­ments, in­clud­ing Lux­tur­na. The deal al­so adds to Roche’s deep oph­thal­mol­o­gy pipeline, which in­cludes late-stage work at­tempt­ing to se­cure more in­di­ca­tions for re­cent­ly ap­proved Susvi­mo and Vabysmo.

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