Targeting the alternative pathway to treat age related macular degeneration

Award Information
Agency: Department of Health and Human Services
Branch: National Institutes of Health
Contract: 1R43EY026860-01A1
Agency Tracking Number: R43EY026860
Amount: $198,151.00
Phase: Phase I
Program: SBIR
Solicitation Topic Code: N
Solicitation Number: PA15-269
Solicitation Year: 2015
Award Year: 2017
Award Start Date (Proposal Award Date): 2017-03-01
Award End Date (Contract End Date): 2018-10-31
Small Business Information
4320 FOREST PARK AVE STE 313, Saint Louis, MO, 63108-2979
DUNS: 079627874
HUBZone Owned: N
Woman Owned: N
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: N
Principal Investigator
 (314) 489-2104
Business Contact
Phone: (314) 914-1122
Research Institution
Targeting the alternative pathway of complement to treat age related macular degeneration Abstract Age related macular degeneration AMD is the leading cause of vision loss in the developed world in people over and is a priority research area for the National Eye Institute It is a progressive degenerative disease that causes loss of the central vision due to destruction of the part of the retina called the macula An estimated million Americans are affected by AMD and approximately million suffer from advanced AMD There is a significant impact on patientsandapos quality of life as the ability to drive read and care for oneself are impaired There are limited treatment options available for AMD and they primarily target one of the advanced forms of AMD called wet AMD The pharmaceutical treatments are all anti angiogenic drugs targeting the protein vascular endothelial growth factor VEGF These drugs do not target the other advanced form of AMD geographic atrophy GA Additionally these drugs are not effective against the early stages of AMD Developing a therapeutic that targets a different pathway involved in AMD would provide treatment options for early AMD GA and wet AMD and potentially block progression to late AMD thus preventing vision loss The complement system is a branch of the immune system that serves to rapidly respond to invading pathogens or tissue injury It includes a potent amplification loop that can lead to host tissue damage if complement is not adequately regulated Overactivation of the complement system has been implicated in the pathogenesis of AMD Genetic and functional studies have demonstrated that alterations in proteins in one of the activation pathways of complement the alternative pathway result in excessive complement activation which is seen early in the disease process Therefore the complement system is an attractive pharmacologic target Development of complement inhibitors to date has primarily focused on biologics Serion is developing a peptide inhibitor of an essential serine protease of the alternative pathway with the long term goal of identifying a drug that will prevent progression to late stage AMD In this SBIR Phase I we will test the hypothesis that a peptide inhibitor can be designed to prevent complement activation via the alternative pathway To test this a two pronged approach to modify the peptide will be employed In Aim the guidance system peptide sequence and warhead serine trapping group will be modified to identify the essential amino acids for target specificity and potency The compound s optimized in this Phase I will then undergo efficacy studies in a mouse model of AMD IND enabling studies such as acute toxicity and pharmacokinetics and pharmacodynamics in Phase II Project Narrative In this Phase I SBIR Serion will advance development of a drug to treat age related macular degeneration AMD AMD is the leading cause of vision loss in Americans over and causes significant hardship as the ability to drive read and care for oneself is impaired The current treatments only target a subset of AMD patients who have an advanced form of AMD called wet AMD thus there is a need for development of new treatments that will be effective in the other forms of AMD

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