Dublin tech company to work with US biopharma group

Genable Technologies will licence certain intellectual property from Spark under deal

Genable Technologies founder and director Prof Jane Farrar. Photo: Aidan Crawley

Genable Technologies founder and director Prof Jane Farrar. Photo: Aidan Crawley

Wed, Mar 26, 2014, 11:45

Genable Technologies, a Dublin company targeting genetic diseases causing blindness, has announced a collaboration with US biopharma group Spark Therapeutics.

The academics behind Genable Technologies have spent over 20 years looking at one form of inherited blindness – rhodopsin-linked autosomal dominant retinitis pigmentosa (RHO-adRP) – in which a genetic mutation leads to damage of the retina and a gradual loss of sight.

There is no approved drug treatment on the market for the condition, which affects an estimated 30,000 patients worldwide.

In 2011, Genable raised $5 million in an exercise led by Fountain Healthcare Partners and involving existing investor Delta Partners, to develop its lead drug candidate GT038.

While Genable will licence certain intellectual property from Spark under the terms of the collaboration, it will retain the full IP on GT038, the company said yesterday. The drug is expected to enter full clinical trials next year.

Spark will become the exclusive manufacturer of the drug and will receive milestone payments and royalties on future sales.

“The collaboration with Spark provides an exciting opportunity to greatly expedite development of Genable’s novel therapy targeted towards RHO-adRP,” said Prof Jane Farrar, founder and director, Genable Technologies and a professor at Trinity College.