Opthea's technology is centred on VEGF-C, VEGF-D and VEGFR-3.
VEGF-C and VEGF-D promote blood and lymphatic vessel development. VEGF-C also causes vessels to leak.
OPT-302 blocks the activity of VEGF-C and VEGF-D and is being developed for the treatment of wet AMD and DME, leading causes of vision loss in the elderly and diabetic population respectively.
Wet AMD is characterised by loss of vision in the centre of the visual field and is caused by the abnormal growth and leakage of vessels at the back of the eye.
DME (diabetic macular edema) is a complication of diabetic retinopathy and the leading cause of blindness in diabetics. Elevated and poorly controlled blood glucose levels in type 1 and type 2 diabetics can damage retinal vessels in the eye and cause inflammation and hypoxia. These processes elevate members of the VEGF family which induce vascular leakage, resulting in fluid accumulation and swelling of the back of the eye, affecting vision.
Blocking the signals that lead to this abnormal vessel growth, vascular dysfunction and vascular leakage has the potential to improve patients' vision.