Exonate, an early stage biotechnology company, announced that it has entered into a strategic collaboration agreement with Janssen Pharmaceuticals, a subsidiary of Johnson & Johnson. Through the collaboration, Exonate will work with Janssen Research & Development scientists to develop an eye drop treatment for retinal vascular diseases such as wet age-related macular degeneration (AMD) and diabetic macular edema (DME) by using mRNA targeted therapies.
Terms of the deal were not disclosed.
Exonate has developed small molecules that inhibit the production of pro-angiogenic vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) through the selective inhibition of serine/threonine-protein kinase (SRPK1)-mediated VEGF splicing. The agreement was facilitated by Johnson & Johnson Innovation.
Exonate is a privately held, early stage, biotech company spun out of the University of Nottingham that is focused on alternative splicing of vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) in ophthalmology. Exonate has developed small molecules that inhibit production of pro-angiogenic VEGF through selective inhibition of serine/threonine-protein kinase 1 (SRPK1)-mediated VEGF splicing. These inhibitors have already demonstrated superior efficacy as topical agents in preclinical models of wet AMD. Through a Wellcome Trust funded project, Exonate will complete regulatory toxicology and safety pharmacology studies to support an application to the regulatory authorities for clinical evaluation. Exonate expects to reach this milestone and enter the clinic in mid-2020.