Verseon presented new efficacy results on its diabetic macular edema drug candidates at the Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology (ARVO) 2018 annual meeting in Honolulu this week. The preclinical data show that Verseon’s oral plasma kallikrein inhibitors successfully reduce retinal thickness and retinal leakage, two hallmarks of the disease.
At ARVO, Verseon’s Dr. Melissa Calton presented comprehensive preclinical data for one of Verseon’s new, potent and selective small-molecule plasma kallikrein inhibitors, VE-3539. In contrast to current DME drugs, Verseon’s compound shows pharmacokinetics suitable for oral administration. Results from a well-established efficacy model, the retinal vascular permeability model, show that VE‑3539 successfully reduces retinal leakage and restores mean circulation times.
“VE-3539 is the first orally dosed plasma kallikrein inhibitor to demonstrate efficacy in this preclinical model of DME,” Dr. Calton said in a company news release. Additionally, Verseon’s candidate is efficacious in another widely used model of DME, the human plasma kallikrein injection model, that mimics the retinal thickening observed in patients.
“Verseon’s DME drugs could offer a safe and convenient alternative to intravitreal injections,” said Dr. Calton. “With their oral route of administration, our drug candidates are especially well-suited for prophylaxis, providing an important benefit for the growing number of diabetics who are at risk of losing their eye sight through DME.”
Verseon uses a computer-driven drug discovery platform embedded in a comprehensive chemistry and biology workflow to design new drug candidates for a wide range of diseases. In addition to the diabetic macular edema program, the company currently has drug programs in anticoagulation, hereditary angioedema, and oncology.