AskBio Launches AskFirst™ Patient Advocacy Program to Educate and Support Participants in Gene Therapy Clinical Trials

Matthew Alsante to Lead Program as Director of Patient Advocacy

Research Triangle Park, N.C. – Jan. 29, 2020 – Asklepios BioPharmaceutical, Inc. (AskBio), a clinical-stage adeno-associated virus (AAV) gene therapy company, today introduced AskFirst™, its collaborative program for patients and their families who may benefit from its advances in gene therapy research and potential curative therapies. The purpose of the program is to keep patients and families informed, ensure safety information is accurately communicated, and provide support when participating in clinical trials.

“AskBio was founded with a patient-focused mission to develop transformative genetic medicines for patients with serious diseases previously considered untreatable,” said Martin Childers, DO, PhD, Chief Medical Officer at AskBio. “This patient-centered approach is at the heart of our AskFirst program that embraces the voice of patients and their families and puts their welfare first. We support the important work of patient advocacy organizations that play an essential role in advancing gene therapy.”

To lead the AskFirst program, Matthew Alsante has joined the company as the director of patient advocacy. He brings more than a decade of experience within patient advocacy organizations and most recently served as CEO of the National Pancreas Foundation. Prior to that, Matthew was the executive director of the Sarcoma Foundation of America.

“I am extremely excited about this opportunity to develop and grow AskFirst,” said Matthew. “AskBio has a long history of commitment to the patient community, and I’m honored to build upon that foundation and provide an external link to the important, life-changing work that is happening here. The patient voice is vital to everything we do. It’s my job to bring that into every aspect of gene therapy development, because we can’t do it without the incredible partnerships we have with patients and the patient community.”

For questions about AskFirst, please email us at You can also follow our advocacy  news on Facebook or sign up for our patient newsletter at

About AskBio
Founded in 2001, Asklepios BioPharmaceutical, Inc. (AskBio) is a privately held, clinical-stage gene therapy company dedicated to improving the lives of children and adults with genetic disorders. AskBio’s gene therapy platform includes an industry-leading proprietary cell line manufacturing process called Pro10™ and an extensive AAV capsid and promoter library. Based in Research Triangle Park, North Carolina, the company has generated hundreds of proprietary third-generation AAV capsids and promoters, several of which have entered clinical testing. An early innovator in the space, AskBio holds more than 500 patents in areas such as AAV production and chimeric and self-complementary capsids. AskBio maintains a portfolio of clinical programs across a range of neurodegenerative and neuromuscular indications with a current clinical pipeline that includes therapeutics for Pompe disease, limb-girdle muscular dystrophy 2i/9R and congestive heart failure, as well as out-licensed clinical indications for hemophilia (Chatham Therapeutics acquired by Takeda) and Duchenne muscular dystrophy (Bamboo Therapeutics acquired by Pfizer). Learn more at or follow us on LinkedIn.


Robin Fastenau
Vice President, Communications
+1 984.275.2705