Visus Therapeutics Inc., a clinical-stage pharmaceutical company focused on developing innovative ophthalmic therapies to improve vision for people around the world, unveiled additional ophthalmic drug candidates (VT-201) with applications in development for corneal wound healing, glaucoma and age-related macular degeneration (AMD).
Visus’ brand-new preclinical candidate, VT-201, belongs to a class of salivary and lacrimal peptides called histatins and has potential applications for corneal wound healing, including post-surgical care and treatment for ocular surface disease.
Dr. Eric D. Donnenfeld, Founding Partner, Ophthalmic Consultants of New York and Ophthalmic Consultants of Connecticut, and Clinical Professor of Ophthalmology, New York University Medical Center, discussed the clinical utility of histatins, such as VT-201, as potential treatments for ophthalmic conditions. He noted that histatins’ rapid wound healing, anti-inflammatory and anti-microbial properties may help treat ocular surface diseases.
“Histatins appear to me to be one of the most extraordinarily disruptive opportunities that I have seen in ocular surface disease in my career, and this is an exciting technology that we look forward to the development of over the next few years,” said Dr. Donnenfeld. “As a corneal specialist, I am extremely interested in the development of these medications. If this technology turns out to be as disruptive as I believe it will be, it will transform the way we practice ophthalmology and improve patient care.”
Thanks to a worldwide exclusive licensing agreement with Cella Therapeutics, Visus Therapeutics’ drug development portfolio has expanded to include a number of investigational drug candidates (VT-301, VT-401 and VT-501) targeted to treat glaucoma and age-related macular degeneration (AMD) –two of the major causes of vision loss.
VT-301 is a novel, injectable, sustained-release delivery system that delivers Bimatoprost Acid directly to the vitreous body to potentially help manage intraocular pressure (IOP). VT-401, which combines Bimatoprost Acid and a CNTF analog compound, has the potential to not only control IOP and prevent further vision loss, but may also help improve vision in some glaucoma patients.
The launch of VT-201 complements Visus Therapeutics’ existing development programs, which include BRIMOCHOL™, the company’s lead investigational drug candidate for the treatment of presbyopia, and VTI-003, a preclinical asset with corneal wound healing applications, including post-surgical care and treatment for ocular surface disease.
Topline data from the company’s Phase 2 trial evaluating BRIMOCHOL are expected later in 2021, and pending affirmative results, Phase 3 pivotal studies will commence before year end.