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    Integrin peptide yields positive outcomes for VMA, VMT in phase II trial

    Dual mechanisms of action appear to inhibit new blood vessel formation, reduce leakage


    Mechanisms of action

    The drug is a new kind of therapy to treat vitreoretinal diseases.

    “It targets integrins, cell receptors that serve as bridges between cells, regulating their interactions with each other and with the extracellular matrix,” said Michael Tolentino, MD, associate professor of ophthalmology, University of Central Florida, Orlando, and director of research, Center for Retina and Macular Disease, Winter Haven, FL. Dr. Tolentino is a clinical investigator for the phase II VMT study.

    The drug is an RGD-class oligopeptide that binds to multiple integrin receptor sites and affects multiple pathways.

    “This and its dual mechanisms of action—anti-angiogenesis and vitreolysis—make it effective across a number of different vitreoretinal conditions,” he said.

    In other specialties, integrin-targeting drugs are used to treat multiple sclerosis, Crohn’s disease, ulcerative colitis, and coronary disease, Dr. Tolentino said.

    Lifitegrast (Shire Pharmaceuticals), a new therapy under review by the FDA, also uses an integrin-targeting approach.

    Looking forward

    The most widely used treatment for symptomatic VMA and VMT is pars plana vitrectomy, Dr. Tolentino said, although ocriplasmin (Jetrea, ThromboGenics) has been approved for this indication.

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