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    ThromboGenics to develop protein therapies for diabetic eye disease

    Leuven, Belgium—ThromboGenics NV has started research and development of innovative protein therapeutics to address a biologic target implicated in a range of diabetic eye diseases, such as diabetic macular edema (DME).

    Through a recent license agreement with Eleven Biotherapeutics, ThromboGenics will develop the company’s proprietary AMP-Rx protein design technology to create a novel therapeutic of ThromboGenics’ selection optimized for improved pharmaceutical characteristics and therapeutic benefits, according to ThromboGenics.

    ThromboGenics will have the exclusive license to all future developments and commercialization of the novel protein. In exchange, Eleven Biotherapeutics will receive an undisclosed upfront payment, and is eligible to receive undisclosed development, regulatory, and sales milestone payments, as well as royalties on potential future sales.

    Patrik De Haes, MD, chief executive officer (CEO) of ThromboGenics, called the agreement an important step forward in building the company’s ophthalmology franchise, following the recent introduction of Jetrea for the treatment of symptomatic vitreomacular adhesion/vitreomacular traction in the United States and Europe.

    “We are confident that by utilizing [Eleven Biotherapeutics’] unique ability to design and optimize protein therapeutics, we will generate an innovative protein therapeutic to address a novel target that we have identified,” Dr. De Haes added. “Our research suggests that protein therapeutics directed at this target could be used to treat a broad range of diabetic eye diseases including DME.”

    “Eleven’s novel approach to designing protein therapeutics for ocular diseases, which has been demonstrated with EBI-005, our lead product candidate in phase 1b clinical development for dry eye disease, will be applied to discover and optimize novel modulators of this evolving pathway which is central to ophthalmic disease,” said Abbie Celniker, president and CEO of Eleven Biotherapeutics. “This collaboration validates Eleven’s unique approach to rational protein engineering through novel structures, enhanced biophysical properties, and more effective targeting in disease pathways.”

    For more articles in this issue of Ophthalmology Times eReport, click here.

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