The history of clinical gene therapy is very exciting, but also very bumpy. Despite many ongoing clinical trials on the late phases, marketing approval was nearly unachievable. The first gene therapy product was approved in 2003 in China. Very recently, the first gene therapy product was approved outside of China. The timeline of gene therapy products approved on the market below.
- 2003 – Gendicine (Shenzhen SiBiono GeneTech, now incorporated into Benda Pharmaceutical, Wuhan, China). Wild-type p53 gene (Ad-p53) for the treatment of head and neck cancer.
- 2005 – Oncorine (Shanghai Sunway Biotech, Shanghai, China). E1B-defective Ad for the treatment of head and neck cancer.
- 2011 – Neovasculogen (Human Stem Cell Institute, Moscow, Russia). VEGF for treatment of peripheral arterial disease (PAD) and its complication critical limb ischemia (CLI).
So, there are only 3 gene therapy products on the market worldwide. About first two Chinese products you can read here and here. About the Russian approval you can read an interview with CEO of the company.
The significance of the recent gene therapy drug approval in Russia:
- first outside of China
- first outside of oncology field
- first gene product approved after long (6 years) break
- the candidate to be considered as the first gene therapy drug for regenerative medicine
I think, approval of Neovasculogen is the most important event in gene therapy field this year. Unfortunately, despite notable significance, mass media and professional community largely ignored news about Neovasculogen approval.