Pharma Focus America

FDA Grants Breakthrough Approval to BioMarin's ROCTAVIAN™, the First Gene Therapy for Severe Hemophilia A in Adults

BioMarin Pharmaceutical Inc., a global biotechnology company, recently announced the approval of their gene therapy called ROCTAVIAN™ (valoctocogene roxaparvovec-rvox) by the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA). This therapy is intended for the treatment of severe hemophilia A in adults who have a congenital factor VIII (FVIII) deficiency with FVIII activity levels below 1 IU/dL and do not have antibodies to adeno-associated virus serotype 5 (AAV5) detected by an FDA-approved test.

Hemophilia A is a genetic condition caused by a mutation in the gene responsible for producing a clotting protein called FVIII. Individuals with severe hemophilia A are at risk of experiencing painful and potentially life-threatening bleeds, often occurring spontaneously. The current standard of care involves lifelong preventative therapy, which requires regular infusions or injections to maintain sufficient clotting factor levels and prevent bleeds. The approval of ROCTAVIAN, the first gene therapy for severe hemophilia A in the U.S., has the potential to revolutionize the treatment approach by offering a one-time, single-dose infusion.

ROCTAVIAN is designed to replace the function of the mutated gene, allowing individuals with severe hemophilia A to produce their own FVIII and minimize bleeding episodes. It utilizes an adeno-associated virus vector-based gene therapy approach. This therapy has the potential to reduce the need for ongoing prophylaxis, offering a long-term solution for individuals with severe hemophilia A.

The approval of ROCTAVIAN represents another significant achievement for BioMarin Pharmaceutical Inc., which has a track record of developing therapies that target the underlying cause of life-threatening genetic conditions. With this latest approval, they now have eight best- or first-in-class commercial therapies. The availability of ROCTAVIAN brings new hope to adults with severe hemophilia A, promising improved bleed control and potentially transforming the way this condition is managed.

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