ProgSTAR making progress for Stargardt disease

May 3, 2016

Clinical researchers involved with ProgSTAR-believed to be the largest natural history study launched, to date, for Stargardt disease-are sharing interim findings during ARVO 2016.

Seattle-Clinical researchers involved with ProgSTAR-believed to be the largest natural history study launched, to date, for Stargardt disease-are sharing interim findings during ARVO 2016.

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“We are very excited to share our interim findings with the international research community,” said Hendrik Scholl, MD, ProgSTAR’s protocol principal investigator and study director, Wilmer Eye Institute, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Baltimore. “The knowledge we disseminate at ARVO will no doubt have a significant impact on the overall understanding of the disease and treatment development.”

The $6 million study has enrolled more than 365 participants at 12 sites around the world. Investigators plan to complete the study in 2017.

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The study was launched by the Foundation Fighting Blindness Clinical Research Institute (FFB-CRI) to gain a better understanding of the progression of vision loss and retinal degeneration for people with Stargardt disease, which affects more than 500,000 people worldwide, according to the institute. The prospective and retrospective study aims to identify a reliable and expedient outcome measure that can be used in clinical trials for emerging therapies.

“We have a great need for a clinical-trial endpoint that researchers and companies can use in development of vision-saving therapies for Stargardt disease,” says Janet Cheetham, PharmD, ProgSTAR liaison at FFB-CRI. “With many promising therapies moving into the pipeline, the timing for such an outcome measure is right. It will give biotechs and pharma the knowledge they need to launch cost-effective, efficient, and successful clinical trials.”

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“By widely disseminating knowledge gleaned from ProgSTAR, we have the opportunity to move the whole industry forward and accelerate the advancement and delivery of therapies to the people who desperately need them,” noted Patricia Zilliox, PhD, chief drug development officer at FFB-CRI.

Clinical researchers will deliver five poster and four paper presentations at ARVO 2016. For program highlights, go to http://bit.ly/1SVjy3C.