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Aerpio Studying AKB-9778 for Glaucoma

■ Aerpio Pharmaceuticals, a biopharmaceutical company focused on developing compounds that activate Tie2 to treat ocular diseases and diabetic complications, announced dosing of the first subject in a phase 1b trial of a topical ocular formulation of AKB-9778 in development for treatment of POAG.

The phase 1 study is a double-masked, multiple-ascending dose trial and will enroll 4 cohorts of 12 subjects. Subjects will receive increasing daily doses of a topical ocular formulation of AKB-9778 or placebo for 7 days. The primary endpoint of the trial is ocular safety and tolerability, with IOP lowering as the key pharmacodynamic endpoint. AKB-9778 recently failed a phase 2b trial for diabetic retinopathy in which the drug was self-administered subcutaneously.