EU/3/07/486

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Orphan designation

On 14 November 2007, orphan designation (EU/3/07/486) was granted by the European Commission to Centre Hospitalier Universitaire de Nantes, France, for adenovirus associated viral vector serotype 4 containing the human RPE65 gene for treatment of retinitis pigmentosa.

The sponsorship was transferred to HORAMA SAS, France, in May 2015.

For a list of the administrative updates to this public summary of opinion please refer to the PDF document below.

What is retinitis pigmentosa?

Retinitis pigmentosa is a genetic disorder, characterised by progressive loss of sight. Approximately 2% of patients affected by retinitis pigmentosa have a defective RPE65 gene, and thus do not produce the RPE65 protein in the cells in the eye. RPE65 protein normally helps the function of photoreceptors that are the light receiving cells in the eye needed for the eyesight. Retinitis pigmentosa is chronically debilitating, due to progressive loss of vision.

What is the estimated number of patients affected by the condition?

At the time of designation, retinitis pigmentosa affected approximately 2.9 in 10,000 people in the European Union (EU). This was equivalent to a total of around 145,000 people*, and is below the ceiling for orphan designation, which is 5 people in 10,000. This isbased on the information provided by the sponsor and the knowledge of the Committee for Orphan Medicinal Products (COMP).


*Disclaimer: For the purpose of the designation, the number of patients affected by the condition is estimated and assessed on the basis of data from the European Union (EU 27), Norway, Iceland and Liechtenstein. At the time of designation, this represented a population of 500,300,000 (Eurostat 2007).

What treatments are available?

At the time of submission of the application for orphan designation, no satisfactory method had been authorised in the European Union for the treatment of the condition. Treatment of patients with retinitis pigmentosa primarily involved genetic counselling, and general support such as information and regular medical follow up.

How is this medicine expected to work?

Adenovirus associated viral vector serotype 4 containing the human RPE65 gene is a medicinal product which uses a virus to carry the gene necessary for the production of the protein RPE65. A virus is a small organism capable of introducing genetic material in cells. By doing this the virus will introduce the gene in the cells where the gene for protein RPE65 is lacking and then the cells infected by the virus will start producing the protein. The type of virus (adeno-associated virus) used in this medicinal product is modified to avoid causing disease in humans.

What is the stage of development of this medicine?

The evaluation of the effects of adenovirus associated viral vector serotype 4 containing the human RPE65 gene in experimental models is ongoing.

At the time of submission of the application for orphan designation, no clinical trials in patients with retinitis pigmentosa had been initiated.

Adenovirus associated viral vector serotype 4 containing the human RPE65 gene was not authorised anywhere in the world for retinitis pigmentosa or designated as orphan medicinal product elsewhere for this condition, at the time of submission.

In accordance with Regulation (EC) No 141/2000 of 16 December 1999, the COMP adopted a positive opinion on 12 September 2007 recommending the granting of this designation.

Opinions on orphan medicinal product designations are based on the following three criteria:
  • the seriousness of the condition;
  • the existence of alternative methods of diagnosis, prevention or treatment;
  • either the rarity of the condition (affecting not more than 5 in 10,000 people in the EU) or insufficient returns on investment.

Designated orphan medicinal products are products that are still under investigation and are considered for orphan designation on the basis of potential activity. An orphan designation is not a marketing authorisation. As a consequence, demonstration of quality, safety and efficacy is necessary before a product can be granted a marketing authorisation.

Key facts

Product details for <p>Adenovirus associated viral vector serotype 4 containing the human RPE65 gene</p>
Active substanceAdenovirus associated viral vector serotype 4 containing the human RPE65 gene
Medicine Name
Disease/conditionTreatment of retinitis pigmentosa
Date of decision13/11/2007
OutcomePositive
Orphan decision numberEU/3/07/486

Review of designation

Sponsor’s contact details:

HORAMA SAS
9 rue de l'Eperon
75006 Paris
France
Tel. +33 6 22 73 26 34
http://www.horama.fr/contact/

Patients' organisations

For contact details of patients’ organisations whose activities are targeted at rare diseases, see:

  • Orphanet, a database containing information on rare diseases, which includes a directory of patients’ organisations registered in Europe;
  • European Organisation for Rare Diseases (EURORDIS), a non-governmental alliance of patient organisations and individuals active in the field of rare diseases.