Retina Drug Studied for Potential IOP Lowering

■ Tie2 dysfunction in the conventional outflow pathway has been implicated in glaucoma. Aerpio’s lead drug candidate, AKB-9778, is a small-molecule inhibitor of VE-PTP, a critical negative regulator of Tie2, that is in later-stage clinical development for the treatment of diabetic retinopathy. The purpose of this exploratory analysis was to assess the effect of subcutaneous administration of AKB-9778, compared to placebo, on IOP in patients with diabetic retinopathy.

Pretreatment baseline IOP assessment showed both the study eye and fellow eye of each treatment group to be normotensive and well balanced between treatment groups. Both active AKB-9778 treatment arms achieved statistically significant reductions in IOP in both the study eye and the fellow eye compared to baseline, whereas there was no change in IOP in the placebo arm. In the subgroup of patients with baseline IOP greater than 16 mmHg, a greater IOP reduction was achieved. These findings, presented at the recent ARVO meeting, support evaluation of Tie2 activation by AKB-9778 as a potential approach for IOP reduction in patients with open-angle glaucoma or ocular hypertension.