Opthea's technology is centred on two members of the Vascular Endothelial Growth Factor (VEGF) family of proteins, VEGF-C and VEGF-D, and their activation of VEGF receptors.These proteins promote blood vessel development (angiogenesis) by binding and activating VEGFR-2 and VEGFR-3, and lymphatic vessel development (lymphangiogenesis), by activation of VEGFR-3. In addition, VEGF-C is a potent inducer of vascular permeability or leakage.

OPT-302 is Opthea’s lead molecule, a soluble form of VEGFR-3 that acts as a VEGF-C/VEGF-D ‘trap’. Blockade of VEGF-C and VEGF-D by OPT-302 inhibits blood and lymphatic vessel development, as well as vessel leakage, which are characteristic hallmarks of several eye diseases, including neovascular (‘wet’) age-related macular degeneration.