Ocular Therapeutix’s Depot Programs Move Forward



Ocular Therapeutix entered into a collaboration with Regeneron Pharmaceuticals to develop a sustained-release formulation of Eylea (aflibercept), Ocular Therapeutix president, CEO, and chairman Amar Sawhney, PhD, announced during the Posterior Segment Company Showcase at OIS@AAO 2016.

During the showcase, Dr. Sawhney provided an update on two preclinical back-of-eye programs Ocular Therapeutix is pursuing: an intravitreal protein anti-VEGF depot and an intravitreal tyrosine kinase inhibitor (TKI) depot, both for wet age-related macular degeneration (AMD), diabetic macular edema, and retinal vein occlusion.

The company’s posterior segment development strategy revolves around protein therapeutics, including the Regeneron partnership, and the small-molecule TKIs, for which Ocular Therapeutix is developing proprietary fine-gauge injectors, Dr. Sawhney said.

The protein anti-VEGF depot is a soft, lubricious, biodegradable hydrogel composed of up to 50% drug that has been found to be compatible with anti-angiogenesis drugs and well tolerated when tested in multiple preclinical models, he explained. In a preclinical model, the protein anti-VEGF depot suppressed vascular leakage for 12 weeks versus six weeks or less for a single dose of Avastin (bevacizumab, Genentech), Dr. Sawhney said. Three anti-VEGF agents in the protein depot showed active release out from four to six months in a preclinical model, he added.

The TKI depot achieved high sustained retinal concentration in vivo, and both depot platforms demonstrated excellent in vivo ocular tolerability, Dr. Sawhney said.

He also reported the Dextenza dexamethasone intracanicular insert is in Phase III trials for postoperative pain and inflammation and allergic conjunctivitis, and in Phase II for dry eye; in addition, the OTX-TP (travoprost) intracanicular insert for glaucoma is in Phase III trials.

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Amar Sawhney

Amar Sawhney, PhD

Amarpreet Sawhney, Ph.D., co-founded Ocular Therapeautix in 2006, has since served as President and CEO and was elected Chairman of the Board in 2014.

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