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10-Jun-2022

Focus On: Santen Cell & Gene

Focus On: Santen Cell & Gene

Summary

Already experts in the area of ophthalmology, Santen decided to harness the potential of cell and gene therapies (CGTs) to address unmet needs and change the lives of patients living with inherited retinal disorders (IRDs).
Editor: PharmiWeb Editor Last Updated: 17-Jun-2022

Solving the leading cause of inherited blindness

Already experts in the area of ophthalmology, Santen decided to harness the potential of cell and gene therapies (CGTs) to address unmet needs and change the lives of patients living with inherited retinal disorders (IRDs).

The recently established Santen Cell & Gene is a global business unit that is dedicated to changing patient lives through transformative solutions. Founded in Japan over a century ago, Santen has been contributing to people’s eye health for the past 130 years and has expanded to cover over 60 countries, reaching the number 1 position in the Japanese and Chinese ophthalmic markets. It now has a portfolio that includes over-the-counter and prescription medicines as well as medical devices. Through this new business unit, it is now moving into advanced therapies.

Santen Cell & Gene has its own specialised, dedicated team that aims for a global leadership position in ophthalmic cell and gene therapies. The Company is looking to achieve this by using both its therapeutic platform and its differentiated business model, taking advantage of a start-up mentality backed by Santen’s wider, extensive expertise and heritage.

In order to drive Santen’s expansion in to the CGT field, the Company has appointed Marianthi Psacha as their Global Head of Cell and Gene Therapy. Marianthi brings with her 25 years of commercial and operational experience, including within the pharma industry. With a strategic and entrepreneurial approach, Marianthi is looking to develop an agile team that can adapt to the unique characteristics of the CGT space.

Santen Cell & Gene is focusing on developing therapies that can address important unmet medical needs in IRDs, a group of diseases that affect between 1 in 2000[1] and 1 in 3000[2] people. Its first therapeutic cell therapy target is retinitis pigmentosa, one of the leading causes of inherited blindness. Despite this, there is currently no approved treatment for the majority of patients.

As a result of the dynamism of the business unit, and the backing and resources of Santen, Santen Cell & Gene has set ambitious goals including contributing to Santen’s vision of reducing the loss of social and economic opportunities for people around the world with eye conditions by 2030.

IRDs represent a serious unmet medical need, with very few therapeutic options available for the majority of patients. As a result, Santen Cell & Gene has an excellent opportunity, backed by multi-national resources and a 130-year history, to provide options for the leading causes of inherited blindness and ultimately change lives.

[1] https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/29659558

[2] https://ird.retinaint.org/irds/