OcuCure Therapeutics Inc.
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Latest From OcuCure Therapeutics Inc.
A preview of the emerging health care companies profiled in the current issue of Start-Up. This month's profile group, "The Eyes Still Have It," features profiles of Alacrity Biosciences, Eyeon Therapeutics, Mobius Therapeutics and OcuCure Therapeutics. Plus these Start-Ups Across Health Care: CyberHeart, GlycoVaxyn, TheraCardia and Vicus Therapeutics.
Tubulin is attracting increasing attention as a potential target to halt angiogenesis in the eye as well as in tumors. OcuCure Therapeutics Inc. is one of several firms developing it to treat macular degeneration. If this approach proves to be as effective as anti-VEGF approaches like Lucentis, OcuCure could be positioned to win over a significant share of the market as its drug would be administered topically, not via injection in the eye.
The Eyes Still Have It: Finding Cures For Diseases that Blind Remains Top Focus for Investors, Entrepreneurs
Over the past few years's there's been no shortage of venture capital investments in companies developing potential treatments for diseases of the eye. Still, investors continue to find entrepreneurs with innovative new approaches to treat age-related macular degeneration, glaucoma and other vision-imparing diseases.
A mere seven years ago, before the approval of Visudyne photodynamic therapy, patients losing their vision to age-related macular degeneration (AMD) were told that there was nothing that could be done for them. Today, AMD sufferers may choose from an assortment of drug treatments. Genentech's Lucentis will reach almost $1 billion in sales in its first year on the market, analysts predict, and it doesn't claim to do anything except slow down the progression of the disease. Moreover, the drug does this better than first-generation anti-VEGF drug Macugen. And if those options aren't enough--and they're not--a handful of start-ups developing device-based therapies are making significant progress by applying some highly innovative approaches. ScyFIX, for example, is applying electrical stimulation to halt the effects of AMD and possibly repair the damage done. NeoVista is applying radiation therapy to the back of the eye, an approach that could serve as an alternative to Lucentis and other drugs based on growth factors, which require frequent injections into the eye. Retina Implant has developed an implantable microchip that will stimulate intact nerve cells in the retina to recreate the sense of sight.