Opthea Limited (ASX:OPT) is a public biotechnology company listed on the ASX and based in Melbourne Australia.
Opthea is developing OPT-302, a novel biologic inhibitor of VEGF-C and VEGF-D, as a complementary medicine to be used in conjunction with VEGF-A inhibitors for the treatment of wet age-related macular degeneration (wet AMD) and diabetic macular edema (DME).
Opthea has completed a Phase 1/2a clinical trial in the US investigating OPT-302 in wet AMD patients and has two ongoing clinical trials:
A phase 2b randomised, controlled clinical trial investigating OPT-302 administered in combination with the VEGF-A inhibitor ranibizumab (Lucentis®) compared to ranibizumab alone in treatment-naïve wet AMD patients; and
A Phase 2a clinical trial investigating OPT-302 administered in combination with aflibercept (Eylea®) for the treatment of persistent/refractory DME.
Opthea’s technology is based on extensive intellectual property related to VEGF-C, VEGF-D and VEGFR-3 that is held in Opthea’s 100% owned subsidiary Vegenics Pty Ltd.
A brief history of Opthea Limited
Circadian Technologies changed its name to Opthea Limited in December 2015. Coinciding with the name change, the company’s ASX code changed from CIR to OPT.
Circadian Technologies was founded by Leon Serry and was one of Australia’s earliest biotechnology companies. It listed on the Australian Securities Exchange in 1985.
Originally functioning as a commercial vehicle for outstanding, diverse biomedical research, the company successfully launched and spun out many of Australia’s most prominent biotechnology companies including Axon Instruments, Optiscan Imaging and Antisense Therapeutics.
In 2008 Circadian modified its strategy to focus on the development of biologics-based therapies and in 2014 focussed company operations on the commercial potential residing in OPT-302 for retinal eye diseases. The company’s programs leverage the broad intellectual property in respect of VEGF-C, VEGF-D and VEGFR-3, which is held within Opthea’s wholly owned subsidiary, Vegenics Pty Ltd.