Policy & Regulation
Astellas Pharma collaborates with University of Pittsburgh
25 September 2020 -

Astellas Pharma Inc (TSE: 4503), a Japan-based pharmaceutical company, announced on Thursday that it has entered into a research collaboration agreement with University of Pittsburgh.

The collaboration is focused on the discovery and optimisation of clinical candidates for the treatment of dry age-related macular degeneration (dry AMD), a back-of-the-eye disease, utilising the AAV-based gene therapy approach.

Among back-of-the-eye diseases, age-related macular degeneration is one of the leading causes of acquired blindness in the elderly. In this collaboration, Debasish Sinha, PhD, Jennifer Salvitti Davis, MD chair in Ophthalmology Research and Professor of Ophthalmology, Cell Biology and Developmental Biology in University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, a world-renowned authority in the research field of back-of-the-eye diseases, and Astellas, which has capabilities in drug discovery, will work jointly to evaluate and optimise the drug candidates with an aim to provide new treatment options that help recover and maintain vision for patients suffering from dry AMD.

Astellas has the exclusive negotiation right for further development and commercialisation pertaining to clinical candidates obtained in this collaboration.

Dr Sinha said 'With the population aging, the negative health impacts and costs of the disease will increase dramatically over the next decade. While effective treatment has been developed for advanced wet AMD, currently there is no treatment or prevention for dry AMD. We look forward to working with Astellas to advance the development of innovative treatments.'

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