A new class of ophthalmic drug continues to show promise for treating patients with diabetic macular edema (DME).
This intravitreally injected therapy, ALG-1001 (Luminate, Allegro Ophthalmics) is an anti-integrin peptide. The novel therapy showed promising results in monotherapy in the form of visual acuity gains and decreased central macular thickness when compared with injections of an anti-vascular endothelial growth factor (anti-VEGF) drug, bevacizumab (Avastin, Genentech).
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One of the most important findings when Luminate was compared with bevacizumab in the DEL MAR Phase IIb/stage 1 clinical trial was that the number of injections of ALG-1001 needed to achieve similar visual results was half that needed with bevacizumab, thus decreasing the patient treatment burden.
Vicken Karageozian, MD, president and chief medical officer, described ALG-1001 as a small molecule that is 1% of the size of popular anti-VEGF drugs, such as bevacizumab, ranibizumab (Lucentis, Genentech), and aflibercept (Eylea, Regeneron Pharmaceuticals) used to treat vitreoretinal diseases.
“(ALG-1001) is a synthetic molecule that mimics a natural master key that blocks the cell-to-cell and cell-to-extracellular matrix communications for angiogenesis,” Dr. Karageozian explained. “It is the first formulation in retina for retinal angiogenesis that does not work on the signaling pathway directly–that is, it does not turn the signals off, but rather interferes with the communications for construction.”