GEN reports on ocular therapeutics targeting the retina

September 10, 2012
Genetic Engineering & Biotechnology News cover image. GEN is published 21 times per year. Credit: ©2012, Mary Ann Liebert, Inc., publishers

Therapies for retinal diseases are expected to overtake those for glaucoma by 2014, reports Genetic Engineering & Biotechnology News (GEN). Because current retinal disease treatments only improve vision for six to eight weeks, there is a critical need for new remedies, according to a recent issue of GEN.

"As increasing numbers of baby-boomers continue to grow older, many will have to deal with eye diseases such as age-related macular degeneration," said John Sterling, Editor-in-Chief of GEN. "Some estimates put the current AMD and diabetic retinopathy drug segment of the market at $3 billion, and this is expected to increase to about $5 billion in two years."

Standard therapy has been Genentech's VEGF inhibitors Lucentis and the off-label use of Avastin®. Regeneron, in collaboration with Bayer HealthCare, is challenging these drugs with a similar VEGF inhibitor, Eyela. The FDA approved the drug last November for wet AMD.

In another approach, Acucela is in Phase II trials using visual cycle modulators to lighten the metabolic load on the retina by reducing the activity of the rod visual system. This protects the retina from light damage, improves retinal vasculature, and reduces the accumulation of A2E and other retinal-related toxic by-products.

GlaxoSmithKline has two drugs in Phase II trials for ocular therapy: darapladib, an oral Lp-PLA2 inhibitor for diabetic macular edema, and Votrient®, a multi-kinase angiogenesis inhibitor in eye drop form for AMD. Early-stage work also is under way for neovascular AMD, dry AMD, diabetic retinopathy, diabetic macula edema, uveitis, and , as well as for technologies for drug delivery.

Explore further: FDA approves drug to treat diabetic macular edema

Related Stories

FDA approves drug to treat diabetic macular edema

August 13, 2012

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration today announced its approval of Lucentis (ranibizumab injection) for the treatment of diabetic macular edema, or DME, an eye condition in people with diabetes that causes blurred vision, ...

Recommended for you

Reproducing a retinal disease on a chip

June 15, 2017

Approximately 80% of all sensory input is received via the eyes, so suffering from chronic retinal diseases that lead to blindness causes a significant decrease in the quality of life (QOL). And because retinal diseases are ...

New gene therapy for vision loss proven safe in humans

May 16, 2017

In a small and preliminary clinical trial, Johns Hopkins researchers and their collaborators have shown that an experimental gene therapy that uses viruses to introduce a therapeutic gene into the eye is safe and that it ...

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.