Policy & Regulation
Oxurion and Beta Therapeutics enter into strategic research collaboration for development of new heparanase inhibitors to treat retinal disorders
6 November 2018 -

Biopharmaceutical company Oxurion NV (Euronext Brussels: OXUR), a developer of new treatments to preserve vision in patients with diseases affecting the back of the eye, revealed on Monday that it entered into a strategic research collaboration with Beta Therapeutics Pty Ltd (Canberra, Australia) to develop new heparanase inhibitors for the treatment of retinal disorders with the highest unmet medical needs such as dry age-related macular degeneration.

According to the terms of the agreement, Oxurion said it will have an exclusive option to license in the heparanase inhibitor program. Beta Therapeutics will receive an undisclosed upfront payment from Oxurion and is eligible to receive a payment upon exercising the licensing option, development, regulatory and commercial milestone payments, as well as royalties on net sales on the products developed under the partnership.

Oxurion added that heparanase is an endoglycosidase that is important in modifying the extracellular matrix and in inflammatory processes. Over-expression of heparanase occurs under pathological conditions resulting in detrimental changes in the extracellular matrix and tissue micro-environment. In the retina, heparanase has been implicated in Diabetic Retinopathy (DR) and potentially in Age-related Macular Degeneration (AMD) pathogenesis.

The company's clinical pipelineis comprised of THR-317, a PlGF inhibitor, for the treatment of diabetic macular edema (DME); THR-149, a plasma kallikrein inhibitor for the treatment of DME; and THR-687, a pan-RGD integrin antagonist for the treatment of diabetic retinopathy and DME. It also owns the global rights to JETREA (ocriplasmin), the only pharmacological vitreolysis drug approved for the treatment of symptomatic vitreomacular adhesion (in the US) and vitreomacular traction (outside the US).

Beta Therapeutics is developing therapeutics that are aimed at new and critical mechanism observed in inflammatory micro-environments of diseases including diabetes and retinopathy. The company develops inhibitors of heparanase, an enzyme that mediates inflammatory micro-environments through its role in the activation of local inflammatory cells as well as the breakdown of extracellular components essential for cytokine and growth factor turnover.

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