KalVista joins consortium to develop novel eye therapeutics

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KalVista Pharmaceuticals is joining a group of academic and industry researchers to undertake a project known as “Drug Discovery and Development of Novel Eye Therapeutics†(3D-NET).

KalVista Pharmaceuticals, an ophthalmology company with a focus on diabetic macular edema (DME), is joining a group of academic and industry researchers to undertake a project known as “Drug Discovery and Development of Novel Eye Therapeutics” (3D-NET).

The four-year project seeks to develop new drugs for the treatment of ocular diseases associated with inflammation, neovascularisation, edema, and degeneration through the complementary capabilities of the partners. The project will be funded through a €1.66 million Marie Curie Industry-Academia Pathways and Partnerships grant award from the EU Seventh Framework Programme.

The consortium partners also include leading researchers in front- and back-of-the-eye diseases, ocular disease models, and synthetic chemistry at the University College, Dublin, Ireland; the Universidad de Valladolid, Spain; RenaSci Ltd, Nottingham, UK; and Gadea Grupo Farmacéutico, Spain.

KalVista, based in Porton Down, UK, and Boston, brings expertise in ocular diseases resulting from diabetes, such as diabetic macular edema, an extensive library of novel compounds already screened for the eye, and proven capabilities in the development of drugs from target identification through to in vitro pharmacology and safety.

“We are delighted to be part of this EU project,” said Andrew Crockett, KalVista CEO. “The consortium brings a unique combination of skills and opportunities to overcome barriers to ocular drug discovery and development and advance new therapies for a range of eye diseases.”

Crockett pointed out that the 3D-NET project will provide KalVista with access to new ophthalmic projects and fits nicely with its internal programmes focused on intravitreal and oral plasma kallikrein inhibitors for DME. The intravitreal programme is advancing to the first in human trial, expected to start in early 2014.

KalVista is developing novel plasma kallikrein inhibitors, which represents a new approach to the treatment of DME. KalVista has an advanced pre-clinical product pipeline and is targeting both intravitreal injection and oral administration.

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