Chinese company Arctic Vision has entered a new research partnership with the University of Hong Kong’s (HKU) Ophthalmology department to discover and develop new neuroprotective treatments for glaucoma.
Carried out as non-intraocular pressure (IOP)-associated procedures to hinder or slow down glaucomatous neurodegeneration, neuroprotection is an unmet requirement in managing glaucoma.
The latest alliance between Arctic Vision and HKU aims to find medicines with a new mechanism of action for glaucoma treatment.
The partners will focus on controlling mitochondrial activity as a neuroprotective approach for glaucoma and creating a microRNA-based gene treatment to protect the optic nerve in this patient population.
Through the four-year alliance, Arctic Vision and HKU will work on remodelling cellular pathways for neuroprotection and neuro-regeneration in retinal ganglion cells (RGCs).
This research in the microRNA-based gene therapies area is being sponsored by Arctic Vision.
The focus will be on developing in vivo experimental glaucoma models and conducting a Phase I clinical trial.
Arctic Vision founder, CEO and board director Dr Eddy Wu said: “Arctic Vision’s objective is to discover, develop and deliver the most novel pan-ocular therapies globally.
“Over the past couple of years, we have built a strong clinical portfolio of in-licensed assets with proprietary technology platforms while raising over $140m in capital.”
Wu added that the research will boost the company’s R&D expertise and its portfolio for the unmet medical needs of patients across China and internationally.
An optic neuropathy, glaucoma causes gradual loss of RGCs. The disease is a major cause of irreversible blindness globally.
The most commonly available treatment methods target reducing IOP to decelerate degeneration of optic nerves. But a substantial portion of such patients develops progressive visual impairment even after proper IOP control.
At present, no approved neuroprotective treatment is available for glaucoma.
Cell & Gene Therapy Coverage on Pharmaceutical Technology supported by Cytiva.
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