Opus Genetics receives FDA Clearance of IND application for OPGx-001 for treatment of retinal disease LCA5

OPGx-001 is Opus’ first program to enter clinical evaluation and is designed to address vision loss due to mutations in the LCA5 gene, which causes one of the most severe forms of early-onset blinding disease Leber congenital amaurosis.

Opus Genetics has announced the FDA has cleared its Investigational New Drug (IND) application for a Phase 1/2, first-in-human clinical trial (NCT05616793) of OPGx-001 in patients with Leber congenital amaurosis (LCA) resulting from biallelic mutations in the LCA5 gene (LCA5).

According to a news release, OPGx-001 is an adeno-associated virus 8 (AAV8) vector to precisely deliver a functional LCA5 gene to retinal photoreceptors. Currently, there are no approved treatments for individuals with LCA5-related vision loss.

Ben Yerxa, PhD, CEO of Opus, pointed out in the release that the company was founded Opus a little more than a year ago to quickly move promising potential treatments into the clinic for patients in need.

“This FDA clearance of our IND application for OPGx-001 for LCA5 marks a significant milestone for Opus, as our first program to enter the clinic,” he explained. “Preclinical studies in in vitro and in vivo models of LCA5 have provided support for the safety and efficacy of OPGx-001. We look forward to initiating our first-in-human trial of OPGx-001 in early 2023 and to continuing to build and advance our pipeline of gene therapies for unaddressed inherited retinal diseases in parallel.”

The Phase 1/2, open-label, dose-escalation trial will evaluate the subretinal delivery of OPGx-001 in nine adult patients with LCA5. The objective of the trial is to evaluate safety and potential benefit. Once safety in adults has been cleared, Opus plans to add a pediatric cohort.

OPGx-001 is designed to address a form of Leber congenital amaurosis (LCA) due to biallelic mutations in the LCA5 gene (LCA5), which encodes the lebercilin protein. LCA5 is an early-onset severe inherited retinal degeneration. Studies in LCA5 patients have reported evidence for the dissociation of retinal architecture and visual function in this disease, suggesting an opportunity for therapeutic intervention through gene augmentation.

OPGx-001 utilizes an adeno-associated virus 8 (AAV8) vector to precisely deliver a functional LCA5 gene to photoreceptors in the retina. Preclinical data, including animal and human iPSC models, have demonstrated preservation of retinal structure and visual function when OPGx-001 was administered prior to peak disease severity.

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