Vertex Pharmaceuticals Incorporated (NASDAQ: VRTX) and CRISPR Therapeutics (NASDAQ: CRSP) reported new data on 22 patients, following up at a minimum of 3 months post gene-editing therapy. CTX001 has shown to provide a consistent and sustained response to treatment. CTX001 is being investigated in two phase ½ clinical trials as a potential therapy for patients that suffer from transfusion dependent beta thalassemia and severe sickle cell disease. Over 40 patients have been dosed across both studies. “The data presented today in 22 patients are impressive in both the consistency and durability of effect. These results add to the growing body of evidence that CTX001 may hold the promise for a one-time functional cure for sickle cell disease and beta thalassemia. We are working with urgency to complete enrollment and look forward to finalizing regulatory discussions and moving towards filing,” said Reshma Kewalramani, M.D., Chief Executive Officer and President at Vertex.
“The continued progress and momentum of CTX001 validate the role that CRISPR gene-editing technology could have in the future of therapeutics,” added Samarth Kulkarni, Ph.D., Chief Executive Officer at CRISPR Therapeutics. “We are excited about these results and look forward to additional longer-term data and to moving this investigational medicine forward for a larger population of patients with these two devastating diseases.”
“As a physician caring for patients suffering from beta thalassemia, I have a high sense of urgency for novel and efficacious treatments,” said Dr. Franco Locatelli, Professor of Pediatrics at the Sapienza University of Rome, Director of the Department of Pediatric Hematology and Oncology at Bambino Gesù Children’s Hospital. “These results suggest the potential for a durable benefit for patients with transfusion-dependent beta thalassemia.”
“It is thrilling to work on a groundbreaking program like CTX001,” said Dr. Stephan Grupp, Section Chief, Cellular Therapy and Transplant, Division of Oncology, Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia. “This approach uses CRISPR/Cas9 gene editing to enable the patient’s own cells to produce fetal hemoglobin, and to see results that demonstrate the potential for a treatment that may transform the lives of many patients is an exciting time for me and the team.”