Aerie Pharmaceuticals announced that it has entered into a collaborative research, development, and license agreement with DSM. The research collaboration agreement includes an option to license DSM’s bioerodible polymer implant technology for evaluating its application to the delivery of certain Aerie compounds, initially focused on retinal diseases. DSM’s technology uses polyesteramide polymers (PEA) to produce an injectable, thin fiber that is minute in size. Preclinical experiments have demonstrated early success in conjunction with Aerie compounds, including demonstration of linear sustained elution rates over several months and achievement of target retinal drug concentrations.
Terms of the deal were not disclosed.
Aerie previously reported data on Aerie-owned small molecule preclinical product candidate AR-13154, which inhibits Rho kinase and Protein kinase C and thus addresses vascular dysfunction, fibrosis, and inflammation. This molecule has generated lesion size decreases in a preclinical model of wet AMD (age-related macular degeneration) at levels similar to the market-leading wet AMD anti-VEGF product, and has generated meaningful incremental lesion size reduction when added adjunctively to the anti-VEGF product. Preclinical studies also demonstrated the promising potential of this molecule to reduce neovascularization in a model of proliferative diabetic retinopathy. Pending additional studies, AR-13154 and related compounds may have the potential to provide an entirely new mechanism and pathway to treat these diseases.
“A key to unlocking the potential of AR-13154 and related Aerie-owned compounds for the treatment of retinal diseases is the identification of the appropriate technology to achieve longer-term sustained delivery of our small molecules to the back of the eye. We are hopeful that DSM’s PEA technology may prove to be that technology,” Vicente Anido, Jr., PhD, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer at Aerie, said in a company news release.