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Roche Terminates Development of its Diabetic Retinopathy Drug

Roche Terminates Development of its Diabetic Retinopathy Drug

October 23, 2023

Swiss-based pharmaceutical company Roche has announced the discontinuation of its oral diabetic retinopathy treatment, vicasinabin, after successfully completing Phase II clinical trials.

In a recent presentation to investors, Roche confirmed its decision to halt further investment in vicasinabin, a promising alternative to conventional approaches for treating diabetic retinopathy. Vicasinabin, known as a CB2 agonist, was discontinued alongside ralmitaront, another pipeline drug that had also reached Phase II studies.

Roche's decision to discontinue the development of vicasinabin and ralmitaront follows a thorough evaluation of the data and the company's strategic priorities. While the Phase II results for vicasinabin were promising, the company has decided to reallocate its resources and focus on other areas of research and development.

This pivotal decision comes in the wake of a Phase II clinical trial for vicasinabin, which is also referred to as RG7774. The trial, registered under NCT04265261, was completed on July 25th and reported an impressive Phase Transition Success Rate of 46% in non-proliferative diabetic retinopathy (NPDR).

The randomized, double-blind study focused on evaluating the safety, tolerability, and the therapeutic impact of oral administration of RG7774 on the severity of diabetic retinopathy. It involved 104 participants with moderately severe to severe NPDR and good vision.

The development of innovative medical treatments remains at the core of Roche's mission, and the company is committed to exploring new opportunities to advance healthcare solutions.