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    Aerie’s focus on therapies that address cause of vision loss


    Netarsudil on TM

    Work in animal models and human donor eyes using fluorescent microbeads demonstrates the action of netarsudil on the TM. Compared with normal eyes, eyes treated with the agent show an increased accumulation of microbeads in the episcleral veins that are downstream of the TM. The increase in fluorescence in episcleral veins is also associated with a measurable increase in TM outflow facility.

    “We have shown that netarsudil can increase trabecular outflow facility not only in preclinical models, such as the mouse and monkey, but also in human donor eyes and in healthy volunteers,” Dr. Kopczynski said. “This is important because preclinical models and tissue culture experiments can sometimes be misleading.”

    Recent data form 24-hour IOP studies show a second advantage for netarsudil. The agent is able to reduce IOP effectively at night as it does during the daytime.

    Many drugs to reduce IOP, including beta blockers and alpha agonists, lack the ability to reduce IOP at night, Dr. Kopczynski continued. Other ocular hypertensive agents tend to low IOP less at night than they do during the day.

    Another potential benefit of this new MOA is that increased TM outflow is complementary to the uveoscleral outflow mechanism seen in prostaglandins. Because the two mechanisms are complementary, it should be possible to combine netarsudil and a prostaglandin to maximize IOP lowering.

    “Roclatan, a combination of netarsudil and latanoprost, is the first to demonstrate superior IOP lowering compared to latanoprost in a phase III study at 9 different time points,” Dr. Kopczynski said. “David Epstein, one of the founders of Aerie Pharmaceuticals, was a passionate believer that a drug that targeted the diseased tissue responsible for elevated IOP would bring significant benefit to patients. We are hopeful that next year, we will be able to report that David’s vision has become reality.”

    Fred Gebhart
    The author is a correspondent for Urology Times, a sister publication.

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