To share their unique insights on business excellence and community stewardship, the Chamber is highlighting each of the 2016 Business Awards winners. This week, we feature the 2016 BioScience Company of the Year, AGTC. You can also learn more about AGTC here.
What is special about AGTC?
At AGTC, we strive to ensure that all employees – from the administrative staff up through the C-suite – have a say in our business and are equipped with the resources they need to be as effective as possible. AGTC employs a highly targeted approach to selecting and designing its gene therapy product candidates, choosing to develop therapies for indications with high unmet medical need, clinical feasibility and commercial potential. AGTC is uniquely positioned for success, having a significant intellectual property portfolio and extensive expertise in the design, formulation, delivery and manufacture of gene therapy candidates. We have assembled an experienced team with a substantial breadth of clinical, scientific and management expertise who can foster an atmosphere of scientific growth and discovery. Our team works with a group of scientific advisors and has strong collaborative relationships with recognized leaders in the field of ophthalmology, otology and gene therapy.
What is your strategy for success? What is AGTC’s vision and how are you working toward it?
Our mission is to dramatically improve the lives of people living with rare inherited retinal diseases through the development of novel gene-based therapeutics. Our initial focus has been addressing significant unmet needs of the thousands of people globally whose sight is at risk from rare ophthalmic diseases. We are currently conducting clinical trials evaluating our gene therapies for achromatopsia and X-linked retinoschisis, two ocular disorders causing severe visual impairment without adequate treatments.
The eye diseases we are targeting are well understood with highly predictive animal models and clearly defined clinical endpoints, characteristics that we believe will facilitate clinical development and regulatory approval of our product candidates. We believe our initial focus on these conditions will provide an attractive business opportunity and position us to drive the advancement of gene therapy technology. We will also evaluate opportunities to extend the commercial application of our gene therapy platform in other underserved indications, and we recently announced the initiation of research efforts in otology to potentially address genetic causes of hearing loss.
How has being a Chamber member supported AGTC in achieving excellence?
The Gainesville Area Chamber of Commerce has played a critical role in making the region a hub for innovation and opportunity. The Chamber also works to attract top talent to the region, promoting local businesses and providing networking opportunities. The chamber has supported AGTC’s social media presence by sharing content about us, supported our media presence by sharing our announcements in their e-Journal and on their website, and supported our local presence by helping to publicize an event we organized to celebrate the opening of our new facility.
What does winning 2016 BioScience Company of the Year mean to AGTC?
We have extensive roots in the Gainesville community. During our early years, AGTC was located within the University of Florida’s Sid Martin Biotechnology Incubator and we maintain extensive ties to UF through multiple Sponsored Research Agreements, covering basic research projects and supporting pre-clinical and clinical development for new product candidates. We’re proud to be recognized for our progress and equally proud to be able support economic growth in community by creating local job opportunities.
What is next for AGTC? What new levels of success do you aspire to achieve?
Our goal is to become a global leader in developing and commercializing gene therapy treatments that positively transform the lives of patients with severe diseases. In addition to advancing our ongoing clinical trials for treating eye diseases, we are exploring opportunities for strategic partnerships and acquisitions, and evaluating opportunities to leverage our gene therapy platform to address indications outside of ophthalmology.