Age-related macular degeneration (AMD) is a progressive retinal disease that is the leading cause of central vision loss in developed countries, affecting 1 in 10 people older than 50 years. AMD is characterised by abnormal formation of blood vessels (angiogenesis) at the back of the eye. These leak fluid and blood into the ocular tissue eventually causing retinal detachment and vision loss. The pro-angiogenic vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) is a major driver of new blood vessel formation in this disease. Current therapies block VEGF from stimulating pro-angiogenic responses, whereas QM107 directly targets an endogenous cell surface receptor which stimulates an anti-angiogenic response by reducing vascular permeability and endothelial cell migration. Current therapies which target VEGF: 1) Associated with high level of patient non-response and side effects (cardiac infarct, thromboembolic events, micro-angiopathy, etc.). 2) Expensive (£ 1000/ injection of Lucentis) and very invasive: They involve injecting antibodies directly into the eyes of patients on a monthly basis. 3) Evidence that over time (~2 years) their efficacy is lost in 10- 20% of cases and patient’s sight worsens.
This method has the potential of administration as an eye drop formulation, representing a substantial improvement for patient experience, well- being and comfort.