Lin Bioscience and Columbia Technology Ventures announced that Lin Bioscience has licensed the intellectual property portfolio and development program for a first-in-class medication intended to slow or halt the progression of atrophic dry age-related macular degeneration (AMD).
Dry AMD pathogenesis mechanism is caused by excess lipofuscin on the RPE (retinol pigment epithelium). LBS-008 targets the direct mechanism to remove excess lipofuscin.
Under the terms of this globally exclusive licensing agreement and collaboration model, the National Institute of Health's Blueprint Neurotherapeutics Network, which has funded the medication's discovery and development, will continue to provide financial support through phase 1, and will continue to collaborate with Columbia University and Lin Bioscience.
LBS-008 is an oral therapeutic candidate that works by reducing retinol in circulation and excess retinal uptake, leading to the formation of toxic byproducts that build up under the retina that causes dry AMD, and similarly in Stargardt Macular Dystrophy, the juvenile onset form of macular degeneration, which is an inherited retinal disease that leads to severe early vision loss in children. LBS-008 is expected to enter Phase 1 clinical trials in 2017 for dry AMD, as well as for Stargardt Disease as an orphan indication.
"Both dry AMD and Stargardt Disease are diseases of real unmet medical need. Globally, dry AMD is a major health concern that severely affects and disabling millions of middle aged to elderly people every day. Up until now, there are no proven treatments, but we are confident that LBS-008, given its potential, may offer some light to the treatment of both diseases," said Dr. Tom Lin, CEO of Lin Bioscience.