Retinal neovascularization (RNV) is a determinant cause of vision loss in retinopathy of prematurity, diabetic retinopathy and central retinal vein occlusion.
Retinopathy of Prematurity (ROP)
ROP is the leading cause of blindness among children worldwide and globally at least 50,000 children are blind from ROP. Control of childhood blindness is a priority for the World Health Organization Vision 2020 effort. Depending on the severity of ROP, the standard of care ranges from watchful waiting to surgical intervention. Complications of these and newer therapeutic options suggest an unmet need for new therapies.
We discovered that TREM-1 plays a role in ROP. In the clinically relevant oxygen-induced retinopathy (OIR) mouse model of ROP, SignaBlok's non-toxic and well-tolerable ligand-independent TREM-1 inhibitor significantly (up to 95%) reduces RNV in the retinas of mice with OIR when systemically administered in both preventive and therapeutic studies. Other preclinical data suggest that this treatment can restore retinal function and preserve vision.
Diabetic Retinopathy (DR)
Diabetes is a global public health disease projected to affect 642 million adults by 2040. DR affects 1 in 3 people with diabetes and remains the leading cause of blindness in working-aged adults. The current standards of care include laser photocoagulation, vitrectomy or injecting medicine into the eye. These treatments may all have serious complications highlighting a need for other, safer and more effective approaches.
We found that TREM-1 plays a role not only in ROP but also in DR. Currently, we are expanding our program in ophthalmology to this eye condition. Other indications include age-related macular degeneration and central retinal vein occlusion.