Shire and Foundation Fighting Blindness Announce New Research Agreement

May 04, 2015

Shire plc and the Foundation Fighting Blindness today announced a new agreement focused on furthering research for a novel treatment for autosomal dominant retinitis pigmentosa (adRP), a rare genetic disease that usually first occurs in late childhood or adolescence and is followed by the progressive loss of peripheral vision. There are no currently approved treatment options for adRP.

“This agreement is an example of the creative approaches in early-stage rare disease research and development that we’re taking at Shire,” said Albert Seymour, senior vice president and head of Global Research and Nonclinical Development, Shire. “Both organizations have a strong shared commitment to unearthing and developing innovative treatment opportunities in areas of significant, unmet medical need.”

As part of the agreement, the Foundation Fighting Blindness and its research partners will provide Shire with expert knowledge and scientific background regarding adRP, as well as pertinent clinical information that could be useful in the development of a drug to treat adRP. Backed by its scientific advisory board, the Foundation Fighting Blindness will also provide counsel as requested to the pre-clinical and/or clinical development of Shire compounds in development for the treatment of adRP.  Shire is compensating the Foundation Fighting Blindness for its considerable expertise in early-stage drug discovery and development, as well as lending the company's significant experience with the submission of investigational new drug applications.

“Autosomal dominant retinitis pigmentosa is a rare, inherited disease that has a significant impact on patients and their families as they navigate the challenges associated with severe vision loss,” said Patricia Zilliox, chief drug development officer, Foundation Fighting Blindness Clinical Research Institute. “Through our agreement with Shire, we are excited to drive research and development and extend our expertise to dedicated partners actively working to accelerate treatments for those living with retinal diseases.”