New AMD drug enters trials

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iSONEP (sonepcizumab), Lpath, Inc's drug candidate for treating age-related macular degeneration (AMD), has been administered to the first patients in its Phase I trial.

iSONEP (sonepcizumab), Lpath, Inc.'s drug candidate for treating age-related macular degeneration (AMD), has been administered to the first patients in its Phase I trial.

Unlike other AMD treatments, iSONEP, an antibody, targets not vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) but sphingosine-1-phosphate (S1P), a bioactive lipid that promotes angiogenesis, inflammation, cell survival and cell proliferation.

Lpath believes that, unlike anti-VEGF drugs, a treatment targeting the S1P pathway would arrest disease progression by reducing inflammation and mitigating fibrosis in addition to its anti-angiogenic properties. Although this hypothesis has been validated in animal trials, there are currently no S1P antibody therapies available for human use.

Lpath hopes that iSONEP will prove a viable candidate, either alone or as an adjunct to anti-VEGF treatments, for AMD as well as potentially having application in other fibrosis, angiogenesis or inflammation disorders.

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