SparingVision acquires GAMUT Therapeutics; expanding novel ocular disease pipeline

By Rachel Arthur

- Last updated on GMT


Related tags Gene therapy

SparingVision will acquire GAMUT Therapeutics, the biotech behind a gene-independent approach to treat the later stages of rod-cone dystrophies such as retinitis pigmentosa (RP).

GAMUT is a spin-out of the Institut de la Vision in Paris, focused on the research of scientific founder Dr. Deniz Dalkara and her collaborators. It was started in 2020 with seed funding from Advent France Biotechnology.

SparingVision’s SPVN06 already addresses mid-stages of rod-cone dystrophies, while GAMUT’s SPVN20 addresses late stages: giving SparingVision the opportunity to address different stages and potentially combine both products.

SPVN20 joins SPVN06 

GAMUT’s lead product, SPVN20, is a novel, mutation-agnostic gene therapy, which aims to restore the function of dormant cone cells in the retina (those which have lost their function due to a degenerative retinal disease but remain viable).

SPVN20 is an AAV vector-based product encoding for a variant of GIRK, a GPCR activated ion channel. In preclinical models, expressing GIRK has been shown to reactivate cone function, despite their progressive loss of outer segments, resulting in improved light responses in treated retinas.

SPVN20 is seen as complementary to SparingVision's existing SPVN06 treatment: another AVV gene therapy approach which is due to start human trials this year. While SPVN06 works predominantly on the metabolism of the cones, by facilitating glucose uptake and providing protection against oxidative stress in the absence of rods during early-stages of rod-cone dystrophies, SPVN20 focuses on restoring the function of viable, but non-functional cones at a later stage in the disease.

SparingVision also plans to evaluate the potential therapeutic synergy of the two products – either alone or together in a series of treatments - to address a broader population of RP patients. It also sees potential to apply the treatment and its mechanism to other retinal diseases.

SparingVision intends to appoint founder Dr Dalkara as Chief Scientific Officer, subject to the closing of the transaction and the approval of the academic institutions she is affiliated with. Financial details of the acquisition have not been disclosed.

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