Encouraging Results in Phase 2 Diabetic Macular Edema Clinical Trial

According to a story from Market Screener, the biotech company UNITY Biotechnology, Inc., has recently announced the release of data from 12 weeks and 18 weeks of its Phase 2 clinical trial. This trial is investigating its experimental senolytic Bcl-xL inhibitor UBX1325 as a treatment for diabetic macular edema. The data indicates that the therapy had positive effects on measures of macular edema.

About Diabetic Macular Edema

Diabetic macular edema is a form of diabetic retinopathy, sometimes called diabetic eye disease, is a condition in which the retina sustains damage as a result of diabetes. Diabetic macular edema can occur at any stage of retinopathy, and occurs when blood vessels leak into the macular region. Nearly 80% of patients who live with either type of diabetes are affected by retinopathy after 20 years. Prompt treatment can greatly reduce the risk of progression, but the condition remains a major cause of vision loss in developed countries. In the US, it accounts for 12 percent of all new blindness cases and is the leading cause for people age 20-64. The condition may not inflict any symptoms at first, but most people eventually have blurry vision, vision loss, distorted or darkened images, and eventually blindness. While there is no cure for the disease, it can be treated very effectively; methods include injected corticosteroids/anti-VEGF agents, vitrectomy, and laser surgery. These treatments, when done early in the disease course, can prevent vision loss. To learn more about diabetic macular edema, click here.

About The Trial

The data from the trial is remarkable considering that the therapy as administered as a single dose injection. Additionally, the patients in this trial no longer received strong results with anti-VEGF treatments.  The benefits seen at 12 weeks and 18 weeks already exceed the standard of care found in comparable populations of patients. Overall, the results so far suggest that UBX1325 could help meet the currently unmet need for a disease-modifying therapeutic that is longer lasting. 

This clinical trial is evaluating a 10 mcg dose of UBX1325 in people living with diabetic macular edema through a 24 week period. A total of 65 patients are participating; they have the option of continuing in a long-term extension study for 48 weeks following the conclusion of the 24 week trial period. The majority of patients have chosen to continue.

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