Santen announced a research initiative with scientists from Massachusetts Eye and Ear, and Ulster University, UK, to research and develop novel treatments for glaucoma.
The aim of this international collaboration is to identify, characterize and develop new and unique treatments for glaucoma. The investigations will focus on how to prevent and reverse damage caused to the optic nerve due to glaucoma by exploring new therapeutic targets in the visual nervous system.
“Santen has been committed to the discovery and advancement of sight-saving therapeutics for more than 130 years. Through this collaborative research initiative with Mass Eye and Ear and Ulster University–distinguished institutions and academic leaders in ophthalmology research–we will employ our collective ophthalmic expertise to further the mission of preserving vision for those affected by glaucoma around the world,” Najam Sharif, PhD, DSc., Vice President and Head of Global Alliances and External Research at Santen, said in a company news release.
“There are currently no effective treatments for glaucoma that protect the optic nerve cells from degenerating, leading to irreversible vision loss for many glaucoma patients,” said Meredith S. Gregory-Ksander, PhD, an associate scientist at the Schepens Eye Research Institute of Mass Eye and Ear, and Assistant Professor of Ophthalmology at Harvard Medical School. “Our research aims to determine if targeting a component of the immune system called the NLRP3 inflammasome, with a novel biologic we developed in collaboration with Dr. Victoria McGilligan, will stop the degeneration of optic nerve cells and help preserve vision in glaucoma patients.”
Dr. Victoria McGilligan, Lecturer in Personalised Medicine at the Northern Ireland Centre for Stratified Medicine, Ulster University said, “It is fantastic to have such strong industry interest, and of course funding and expertise, from a company with a long history in ophthalmology like Santen, which will undoubtedly speed up the development and progress of this therapeutic antibody, called InflaMab. I’m also delighted to be working on this project with Mass Eye and Ear as we are long standing collaborators and their research compliments ours perfectly. They have developed novel glaucoma models which we have then used to successfully test the innovative therapeutic we developed, which is used to penetrate the eye cells to reduce inflammation. Our ultimate collective goal is to offer hope to those at most risk of vision loss through the adoption of this treatment for glaucoma patients in clinics around the world.”