Golgi Neurosciences has joined forces with Breye Therapeutics for the development of a P2X7 receptor antagonist programme.

The receptor, a vital inflammation switch, is an adenosine triphosphate (ATP) gated ion channel found in several cell types.

The oral P2X7 receptor antagonists offer a new treatment approach for both early-stage diabetic retinopathy (DR) and dry age-related macular degeneration (dry AMD).

Golgi Neurosciences managing director Chiara Liberati said: “With leading experts on the Scientific Advisory Board, Breye is led by a strong and seasoned Management team, supported by a highly-regarded syndicate of investors, making Breye the ideal partner to facilitate the next steps in advancing our P2X7 receptor antagonist program towards developing innovative approaches for retinal disorders.”

DR impacts around 30% of individuals with diabetes and is one of the main reasons for blindness among working-age adults.

AMD is a significant factor contributing to the loss of vision, especially among individuals aged 60 years and older.

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Breye Therapeutics CEO Ulrik Mouritzen said: “The Golgi incubator has fantastic expertise in neurosciences, and we are pleased to collaborate to advance the P2X7 receptor antagonist programme for retinal disorders, where there is a large unmet medical need for more effective and less burdensome therapies.”

Based in Milan, Italy, Golgi is involved in the discovery and development of small molecule-based therapies for neurodegenerative diseases.

Breye is focused on the development of novel, oral ophthalmology drugs for DR and AMD.