Studies show that almost one in seven Australians over the age of 50 suffer from vision loss caused by neovascular age-related macular degeneration (AMD), and that over 300,000 Australians with diabetes have some degree of diabetic retinopathy (DR).
As a leading global CRO in ophthalmology, we are honoured to be part of research to discover new interventions in sight-threatening disease. A recent collaboration between Australian and international scientists, clinicians and commercial groups, led by Professor Levon Khachigian at the University of New South Wales (UNSW) has recently made a breakthrough in preclinical research for treating neovascular AMD and DR.
The research team has tested a chemical compound in the lab and a range of animal models to progress much-needed treatment options for neovascular AMD and DR. Professor Khachigian said: “All current approved targeted therapies for AMD and DR are antibodies and protein-based drugs that suppress a specific growth factor system called vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF). However, many patients do not respond optimally to those treatments, or at all, and small molecule therapies aren’t available – that’s why we need alternative approaches to those that only target the VEGF system.”
To help work towards those alternative approaches, Prof. Khachigian and the team have identified a small molecule chemical compound, called BT2 that shuts down a key cell signalling pathway that serves as an “on switch” for many diseases.
At GreenLight Clinical, we are delighted to see our very own Dr. Meidong Zhu, Dr. Samuel Adamson and Dr. Andrew Chang be a part of this exciting collaboration, adding their specialised knowledge and expertise to the manuscript. GreenLight Clinical is always looking for opportunities to contribute to clinical studies to deliver solutions that may have the benefit to patients affected by the sight-threatening disease.
GreenLight’s support of these studies supports our vision and enthusiasm for advancing new therapies towards the clinic. We are proud to say Australian medical research is among the best in the world, with BT2 being wholly developed in Australia, and a great example of Australian-led research collaboration taking pride of place on the world stage.