Diabetes treated with OCX063

Diabetic Retinopathy

Diabetic Retinopathy (DR) is a common complication of diabetes and remains one of the leading causes of severe vision loss and blindness among adults in the world. DR affects almost all individuals with type 1 diabetes and more than 60% of those with type 2 diabetes within 20 years of developing diabetes.

DR is a progressive eye disease that worsens over time as the result of blood vessel damage to the retina in the back of the eye. DR is commonly described in two clinical stages. Non-proliferative DR (NPDR) forms the earliest phase of the disease, characterised by microaneurysms (microscopic swelling of the blood vessels), which often present with no visual symptoms. However, continuous occlusion of blood vessels that supply oxygen and nutrients to the retina and subsequent rupture of the vessels and leakage of fluid into the retina can trigger the progression of the disease.

These early pathological changes in the microvasculature can be attributed to the cascade of inflammatory events, including increased expression of endothelial adhesion molecules (ICAM-1, VCAM-1), adhesion of leukocytes to the endothelium, activation of microglia (resident macrophages) and release of inflammatory cytokines (MCP-1, TNFα), vascular permeability and angiogenic growth factors (VEGF, PDGF, CTGF) that contributes to the breakdown of the blood retinal barrier and the development of neovascularisation and fibrosis in the advanced stage of proliferative DR (PDR).

PDR is characterised by neovascularisation (the growth of abnormal blood vessels along the retina and into the surface of the clear, vitreous gel that fills the back of the eye) and reactive gliosis (the activation and proliferation of retinal neuron or glial cells) that lead to severe scar tissue formation on the surface of the retina and optic nerve and subsequent retinal detachment associated with progressive and permanent visual impairment in DR.

OCX compounds prevent the onset of inflammation and ultimately fibrosis of the retina.