Cheryl Wong Po Foo, PhD, Director of Clinical Development at Astellas Gene Therapies (formerly Audentes Therapeutics), is responsible for the advancement of the clinical development program for Pompe disease. Alexandra Butler, Pompe disease patient, teacher and member of the Canadian Association of Pompe (CAP) talked with her about Astellas, gene therapy and the Fortis clinical trial.
Astellas Gene Therapies is developing genetic medicines with the potential to deliver transformative value for patients. Astellas is investigating a muscle-directed gene therapy approach to treat Pompe disease. The goal of the muscle-directed approach is to express GAA directly within muscle tissues, preferentially skeletal and cardiac muscle, which are the tissues most affected by the disease.
About Cheryl Wong Po Foo, PhD
Cheryl Wong Po Foo joined Audentes Therapeutics, an Astellas company in 2019 as a Director of Clinical Development leading the Pompe program. She currently oversees the clinical development of the AT845 AAV-based gene therapy for the treatment of Pompe disease along with the execution of clinical trials. Before joining Audentes, Cheryl was at Sangamo Therapeutics where she was the clinical science lead for the MPS, Fabry disease and PKU programs. Cheryl has over 10 years of experience in clinical research in cell and gene therapies. She has spent the past 5 years working in various clinical stage programs in rare genetic diseases ranging from MPS, Fabry, Pompe Disease, Achondroplasia, and PKU. Prior to entering the field of rare diseases at BioMarin Pharmaceutical, Cheryl spent more than 10 years working in preclinical and clinical research advancing cell therapies for the treatment of cardiovascular disease and neuroregenerative applications. Cheryl completed her post-doctoral training in Materials and Biomedical Engineering at Stanford University using protein engineering to design new biomaterials for applications in regenerative medicine. She received her Ph.D. in Chemistry and Biotechnology from Tufts University doing research focused on tissue engineering.