Q BioMed has announced that it is extending its option agreement with Washington University in St. Louis. Under the agreement granting the exclusive right to license the technology, Q BioMed will continue to evaluate the feasibility and usability of GDF15, a novel biomarker for monitoring glaucoma, as a companion diagnostic to the MAN-01 small molecule currently being optimized for the topical treatment of glaucoma.
The extension allows for more extensive evaluation to be conducted on the feasibility and usability of GDF15 as a novel biomarker for glaucoma and companion diagnostic to Q BioMed’s exclusively licensed technology, MAN-01. Dr. Arsham Sheybani, Assistant Professor of Ophthalmology and Dr. Rajendra S. Apte, the Paul A. Cibis Distinguished Professor of Ophthalmology and Visual Sciences at Washington University in St. Louis, will conduct a study planned to take place at Washington University in St. Louis using GDF-15 to gather more clinical data on its feasibility and usability as a biomarker for monitoring glaucoma.
In the clinical study, the investigators will examine whether GDF-15 levels correlate with glaucoma severity and with adequate therapeutic response in patients undergoing glaucoma surgery. A primary goal of glaucoma surgeries is reducing IOP, as elevated IOP contributes to RGC death and vision loss. Therefore, in addition to measuring GDF-15 levels, they will also record IOP measured before surgery and at the follow-up. IOP measurement is done at each visit as part of usual care of the patient. These independent studies will provide valuable insights regarding the role of GDF-15 that can inform future clinical studies.
“We are very pleased to be taking this project one step further. We believe that Q BioMed is uniquely positioned to address the marketable demand for novel, breakthrough, precision medicine tools to treat glaucoma,” Denis Corin, QBioMed CEO, said in a company news release. “This GDF-15 diagnostic, combined with our MAN-01 drug to treat glaucoma, will be a powerful combination: improving the decision-making tools for clinicians, while making a positive impact on the health of glaucoma patients.”