Verseon presented a new class of oral candidate drugs which could change the treatment and prevention of diabetic macular edema (DME).
“Our oral development candidate, a novel inhibitor of plasma kallikrein, has the potential to redefine how DME is treated,” Dr. Anirban Datta, Verseon’s Senior Director of Discovery Biology Diabetic Macular Edema (DME), said during this week’s BIO international Convention in Philadelphia. “These drug candidates could become the first real alternative to eye injections, the current standard of care for millions of diabetics at risk of vision loss.”
The current standard of care for DME are recurring injections into the eye, which can be associated with discomfort, infection, and inflammation. Given the risk profile and invasiveness of administration, these drugs are not appropriate for preventative treatment in chronic diabetics at risk. There is a large unmet need for better medications for treating, and ideally preventing, DME. Verseon’s oral DME program is aimed at meeting this need, according to Verseon.
To address this problem, Verseon is developing the first oral medications for DME. At the BIO International Convention, Dr. Datta presented preclinical data on the company’s first development candidate for clinical trials.
Verseon’s drug candidates target plasma kallikrein, a central mediator of the disease that is not covered by current drugs. In preclinical studies, these compounds have demonstrated excellent oral bioavailability and successfully inhibited both retinal thickening and retinal vascular leakage, two hallmarks of DME. This combination makes them promising candidates for a new generation of oral DME drugs that could potentially open up a $96 billion annual global market for treatment and prophylaxis.