Gyroscope Therapeutics has announced that the first patient has been dosed in its Phase I/II FOCUS study for dry age-related macular degeneration (AMD).

The trial successfully dosed the first patient in January and is currently enrolling patients in the UK to participate in the open label, dose escalation, multicentre study to assess the safety and biological activity of Gyroscope’s novel therapeutic approach (GT005) in patients with geographic atrophy due to dry AMD.

The drug is a novel retinal gene therapy aimed at delivering a targeted, one-time treatment to genetically defined patients with advanced dry AMD that aims to restore the balance of a complement system known to be hyperactivated in AMD.

Dr Soraya Bekkali, chief executive officer of Gyroscope Therapeutics, commented: “Our goal at Gyroscope is to advance new therapies for the treatment of debilitating eye diseases such as age-related macular degeneration. Building on the research of Gyroscope’s scientific founders, we have been working relentlessly over the last two years to advance our first drug development program into the clinic.

“We are delighted to have dosed the first patient in the FOCUS study. We believe this is a great step forward in developing a therapy to treat dry AMD, while we continue our efforts on expanding our clinical programmes internationally.”

AMD is one of the leading causes of blindness worldwide and currently has no approved treatments. By the year 2020, an estimated 196 million people globally will have AMD and 11 million will have significant vision loss.