Acucela announced the publication of preclinical data related to the company’s investigational drug candidate, emixustat hydrochloride (emixustat), in the scientific journal Investigative Ophthalmology & Visual Science (IOVS).
The published article, “Emixustat reduces metabolic demand of dark activity in the retina,” can be accessed at: here.
Authors of the paper evaluated the effects of emixustat on retinal metabolism in rat models. In these animals, both oxygen consumption and ion channel activity in the retina under dark conditions, when the retina is most metabolically active, were evaluated. Emixustat treatment resulted in decreased oxygen consumption and ion channel activity. The authors note that these data indicate that emixustat can reduce metabolic and oxygen demands in the retina under dark conditions, which has implications for the treatment of ischemic retinal diseases in which hypoxia plays a prominent role, such as diabetic retinopathy.
“I am pleased that our preclinical data are now published in the journal IOVS to provide evidence that emixustat has the potential for therapeutic effects in diseases like diabetic retinopathy,” Ryo Kubota, MD, PhD, and Chairman, President and CEO of Acucela Inc., said in a company news release. “We are actively seeking partnership opportunities to further advance these clinical programs.”
Emixustat has been formulated for oral administration and is currently being investigated in a multicenter phase 3 clinical trial to determine if emixustat reduces the rate of macular atrophy progression, in comparison to placebo, in subjects with Stargardt disease. Secondary objectives include assessing changes in visual function parameters such as BCVA (best-corrected visual acuity) letter score and reading speed (Clinicaltrials.gov identifier: NCT03772665).