By Adrian Galbreth
The global fight against eye disease continues to gather pace, with one company claiming that its latest brand of eyedrops is effective in treating retinal disease.
Gene Signal has announced positive results from its new study into the efficacy of aganirsen (GS-101, eye drops) in tests to combat choroidal neovascularisation.
The report, presented at the 2012 ARVO Annual Meeting in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, reveals that topical administration of aganirsen was found to inhibit neovascular growth and leakage.
According to the company, the results strongly suggests a role for the drug candidate in human retinal neovascular diseases such as wet age-related macular degeneration (AMD) and ischemic retinopathy.
Gene Signal explained that aganirsen is an antisense oligonucleotide, and a phase III trial for the treatment of progressive neovascularisation in the cornea is set to finish this year, with clinical studies in retinal diseases scheduled to begin in the coming weeks.
Dr Matthew Lawrence of RxGen, Inc, who presented the data, said the study clearly demonstrates the ability of aganirsen to address neovascularisation formation in the retina by inhibiting the expression of the angiogenic protein IRS-1.
"Importantly, this is achieved without affecting normal vascularisation. With the demand for new, effective antiangiogenic agents that are easier to use in the treatment of several eye diseases growing, we believe these data strongly support a role for aganirsen," he added.
Eric Viaud, chief executive of Gene Signal, said a topical agent for neovascular disease would "revolutionise" treatment, as there is an unmet need for many ophthalmological diseases including AMD, ischemic retinopathy and certain forms of glaucoma.
Previous clinical studies have shown that aganirsen is able to safely and effectively inhibit the development of progressive corneal neovascularisation secondary to infectious keratitis or chemical burns, both of which could lead to corneal graft replacement.
"To confirm the many advantages that topical aganirsen could offer over currently available drugs, we intend to begin Phase II clinical evaluation in the next few months," Mr Viaud added.
by Emily Tait