Ocuphire Pharma Announces In-License of Phase 2 Oral Small Molecule Drug Candidate for Diabetic Retinopathy
Business Wire | January 22, 2020
Ocuphire Pharma, Inc., a clinical-stage pharmaceutical company focused on the development and commercialization of therapies to treat patients with a variety of ophthalmic disorders, today announced that it has entered into an agreement with Apexian Pharmaceuticals, Inc., granting Ocuphire an exclusive worldwide sublicense to Apexian’s Ref-1 Inhibitor program, including its lead drug candidate APX3330, for all ophthalmic and diabetic indications. APX3330 is a first-in-class, orally-administered, small molecule drug candidate that selectively targets and inhibits the Ref-1 (reduction-oxidation effector factor-1) protein, a novel upstream regulator of critical transcription factors controlling inflammatory and angiogenesis pathways that are implicated in diabetic retinopathy (DR) and diabetic macular edema (DME). DR and DME are common diabetic complications that arise due to damage to small blood vessels within the eye, causing leakage, oxygen starvation and abnormal vessel growth that progressively obstructs vision, leading to blindness. APX3330 may improve eye health in diabetics by reducing inflammation, hypoxia signaling, and abnormal angiogenesis.