The Dry Eye Zone

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Drugs in development: VGX-100

Early stage research but sounds interesting.

VGX-100 Identified as Potential New Therapy for Dry Eye Disease

MELBOURNE, Australia, Sept. 13, 2011 /PRNewswire via COMTEX/ -- Data published in the scientific journal Archives of Ophthalmology generated by investigators at the Schepens Eye Research Institute led by Harvard University Professor Reza Dana.

VGX-100 significantly reduced inflammation and corneal epitheliopathy in a mouse model of Dry Eye Disease.

Data indicates major potential opportunity for VGX-100 as a therapeutic for Dry Eye Disease.

Circadian Technologies Limited (asx:CIR)(otcqx:CKDXY) announced today the publication of data in the scientific journal Archives of Ophthalmology showing that its lead development molecule VGX-100, a human antibody against the angiogenic and lymphangiogenic molecule VEGF-C, can significantly reduce inflammation and corneal tissue damage associated with Dry Eye Disease (DED). The data indicates a major new therapeutic opportunity for VGX-100 in the DED setting.

The manuscript entitled "Blockade of Prolymphangiogenic Vascular Endothelial Growth Factor C in Dry Eye Disease" Arch Opthamol. Dol:10.1001/archopthamol.2011.266 is accessible via the Archives of Ophthalmology website ( http://archopht.ama-assn.org ).

DED is a complex, immune-mediated disorder of the ocular surface that has multiple causes and affects about 5 million Americans above the age of 50 years. It is estimated that 10% of Australians will suffer from the condition at some point in their lives. DED severely impacts the vision-related quality of life and the symptoms, including persistent dryness, burning, light sensitivity, pain and blurred vision, can be both psychologically and physically debilitating. The current therapeutic options for DED are limited and mostly palliative. Currently, topical cyclosporine-A is the only approved treatment for DED.

The study, which was led by Professor Reza Dana and Dr. Sunali Goyal of the Schepens Eye Research Institute, Harvard Medical School Department of Ophthalmology, showed that administration of VGX-100 was able to significantly reduce inflammation, lymphangiogenesis and corneal damage in a mouse model of DED.

Prof Reza Dana, MD MSc MPH. Claes Dohlman Chair in Ophthalmology, Professor of Ophthalmology, Harvard Medical School, Co-Director of Research at Schepens Eye Research Institute and senior author of the study said: "Dry Eye Disease is suffered by millions of people in the U.S., but current treatments have significant limitations, and effective treatments are not available for many patients. This current study builds on our previous findings demonstrating that VEGF-C, VEGF-D and VEGFR-3 are upregulated in DED corneas, and demonstrates for the first time that an anti-lymphatic effect, caused by the blockade of VEGF-C, has significant beneficial effects in treating the condition. We strongly believe that blocking lymphangiogenic molecules could become a major new paradigm for the treatment of DED."

Mr. Robert Klupacs, CEO of Circadian Technologies, said: "We have always believed that blockade of VEGF-C will have clinical utility in a variety of conditions, in addition to treating solid tumours. This very exciting data generated by our collaborators at Schepens offers significant opportunities for us to leverage our investment in the VGX-100 oncology program and undertake additional preclinical and clinical development activities for VGX-100 in DED, a disease which still remains extremely difficult to treat."
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