The company made this decision after completing phase 2 trials of the drug.
According to a report by Fierce Biotech,1 Roche has announced that they are stopping the development of vacasinabin. This drug had completed phase 2 studies as an oral treatment for diabetic retinopathy before this decision.
Vicasinabin, was also known by its development ID as RG7774. Phase 2 development on the drug was entered n 2020 with the company intending to find a potential treatment that would provide patients with a less invasive option. Currently, diabetic retinopathy treatments involve injections into the eye. Thus, this oral option would have lowered the treatment burdern for both providers and patients. However, the clinical trial, which finished in July, failed to persuade Roche to continue its investment in vicasinabin.1
While this decision removes Roche’s oral contender in diabetic retinopathy other pharmaceutical companies are still pursuing oral treatments. Ocuphire Pharma’s oral candidate, APX3330, has cleared phase 2. Bayer, InflammX and Rezolute also have oral, clinical-phase assets.1
The news of this halt comes as part of a third quarter pipeline cull that also affected Roche’s cibisatamab, a bispecific designed to bind to CD3 on T cells and CEA on cancer cells.1