UPDATE: 27 September 2023
Sadly, ProQR has today announced that the agreement to pass its LCA and Usher therapies over to Laboratoires Théa (as reported below) has been terminated. The completion of the transaction was conditional on Théa entering into employment agreements with a number of key ophthalmology personnel from ProQR. Some of these individuals have now elected not to proceed with employment at Théa, therefore that closing condition for the transaction cannot be fulfilled and Théa has terminated the agreement.
ProQR will take up any further partnership opportunity that arises to enable continued development of the two therapies. However, for the time being, there is unfortunately no prospect of clinical trials re-starting.
Retina UK recognises that this news will be deeply disappointing for some members of our community. The Retina UK Helpline offers emotional support and can be contacted on 0300 111 4000 or Helpline@RetinaUK.org.uk .
Biotechnology company ProQR has announced that two of its RNA therapy development programmes for inherited sight loss are being acquired by Laboratoires Théa, a company specialising in eye care products.
This means that Théa will continue development of the two products, known as sepofarsen and ultevursen, for the treatment of Leber congenital amaurosis type 10 associated with the CEP290 gene and for retinal degeneration associated with the USH2A gene.
In 2022 we reported that ProQR had suspended clinical trials of sepofarsen and ultevursen and was seeking a partner to take over further development. You can read about the background to that here: RetinaUK.org.uk/news/proqr-announces-suspension-of-lca10-and-ush2a-clinical-trials/.
Théa has announced its intention to create a fully dedicated team specializing in inherited retinal disorders, and is currently making arrangements for management of the two programmes.
Jean-Frédéric Chibret, President of the Théa group, said:
“We are very excited to continue the development of sepofarsen and ultevursen for patients. These two programs can deliver hope for patients suffering from retinal diseases that lead to blindness. We look forward to returning these assets into the clinic.”
More information on next steps will be available in the coming weeks from Théa, and Retina UK will be kept updated. In the meantime, ProQR welcomes queries, which can be addressed to firstname.lastname@example.org.