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Development of a biomimetic small molecule therapeutic for neovascular retinal diseases

Award Information
Agency: Department of Health and Human Services
Branch: National Institutes of Health
Contract: 1R41EY025490-01
Agency Tracking Number: R41EY025490
Amount: $180,751.00
Phase: Phase I
Program: STTR
Solicitation Topic Code: N
Solicitation Number: PA14-072
Solicitation Year: 2015
Award Year: 2015
Award Start Date (Proposal Award Date): 2015-05-01
Award End Date (Contract End Date): 2016-10-31
Small Business Information
2645 Nina St
Pasadena, CA 91107-3710
United States
DUNS: 079351006
HUBZone Owned: No
Woman Owned: No
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: No
Principal Investigator
 (323) 442-6523
Business Contact
Phone: (626) 333-3049
Research Institution
LOS ANGELES, CA 90089-9235
United States

 Nonprofit College or University

DESCRIPTION provided by applicant Retinal diseases including age related macular degeneration AMD diabetic retinopathy DR diabetic macular edema DME and retina vein occlusion RVO are the leading causes of vision loss and blindness in people over years old According to the NEI in nearly million people in the U S suffered from some form of these diseases whose prevalence is expected to increase to million over years Recently approved therapies have focused on the exudative wet form of AMD which is characterized by abnormal new vessel formation neovascularization and affects an estimated million people Typically these treatments focus on inhibiting vascular endothelial growth factor VEGF a protein that promotes the extravasation from existing vessels as well as the formation of new blood vessels that lack a non leaky blood retinal barrier The most commonly used therapeutics include the biologic drugs LucentisTM AvastinTM and EyleaTM which must be administered via injections directly into the vitreous cavity every one or two months Although these drugs are designed to bind to VEGF and limit its actions they do not eliminate the source that produces VEGF and although rare can also be associated with serious side effects including stroke Moreover the majority of patients do not have a marked improvement in their vision e g about one third of the AMD patients get improvement of lines or more on the ETDRS vision chart Therefore despite these advances there is still a major unmet need to develop new treatments that can better address the pathogenesis of these diseases This project is based on a new therapeutic concept resulting from unique insights on the critical impact of persistent local inflammation that is responsible for the production of VEGF leading to the initiation and progression of AMD These efforts led to the identification of a family of localy formed small molecules that reduce local inflammation in AMD and also suppress the production of VEGF As a result it became possible to use these findings to design and validate new biomimetic small molecules as potential therapeutics for neovascular retinal diseases This proposal is for the development of a new small molecule drug candidate that dramatically reduces abnormal VEGF mediated effects without directly binding to VEGF The efficacy of this promising molecule has been validated in animal models which showed that it is able to reduce the underlying persistent inflammatory response suppress the VEGF pathway block neovascularization and promote regression of the disease The proposed work will further advance this lead molecule towards the next steps of pre clinical development setting the stage for translation into human clinical trials

PUBLIC HEALTH RELEVANCE This project will develop a new class of small molecule therapeutics for the treatment of major retinal diseases such as age related macular degeneration and diabetic macular edema The approach being pursued will establish an innovative and cost effective therapeutic paradigm that mimics natureandapos s way of modulating excessive ocular inflammation a key underlying cause of these major ophthalmic diseases This effort will address an unmet medical need for a curative treatment to these major ophthalmic diseases which affect a large and growing number of people

* Information listed above is at the time of submission. *

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