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    Innovation in glaucoma thriving

    advances in pharmaceuticals, devices, and diagnostics fueling growth for sector

     

    Amakem Therapeutics

    Belgium-based Amakem is working on its own ROCK inhibitor, AMA0076.

    “The elephant in the glaucoma room is hyperemia,” said CEO Jack Elands, PhD. “Hyperemia is a significant problem with the prostaglandins and is even worse with most of the ROCK inhibitors. Patients don’t want hyperemia and if you add a ROCK inhibitor to a prostaglandin, you are adding two hyperemic drugs. That is not good.”

    Amakem’s solution is a ROCK with localized action. Drug that penetrates the cornea moves quickly to the trabecular meshwork, where it increases outflow and reduces IOP. Drug that remains on the cornea is quickly metabolized and eliminated. The localized action all but eliminates hyperemia in animal models and in clinical trials to date.

    “Hyperemia, the lack of hyperemia, is what distinguishes AMA0076 from other ROCK inhibitors,” Dr. Elands said. “In our early clinical trials, you have to look closely to see hyperemia. For people in normal conversation in everyday life, you don’t see hyperemia at all.”

    The agent is also effective at lowering IOP. A 28-day trial showed a mean IOP lowering of 20%. IOP measurements taken in the morning showed a clear IOP-lowering effect from eye drops administered the previous evening.

    “We have moved from animal models to clinical proof of concept with IOP lowering and no hyperemia,” Dr. Elands said. “We are now in phase II dose finding to optimize our formulation.”

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