Exploring new targets for AMD

by | February 26, 2020

Latest collaboration between Gemini Therapeutics and Singapore Eye Research Institute will bring about understanding and improve AMD treatment.

Gemini Therapeutics, a clinical stage precision medicine company developing innovative treatments for dry age-related macular degeneration (AMD) and linked ocular disorders, is collaborating with the Singapore Eye Research Institute (SERI) to expand knowledge as well as identify new targets associated with AMD.

SERI and Gemini will explore the link between genetic and potential biomarkers in patients diagnosed with polypoidal choroidal vasculopathy (PCV), a disease affecting the blood vessels in the choroid which supports the retina. This approach will leverage Gemini’s experience using precision medicine to develop potential therapeutics for genetically defined patient populations. Gemini will use this information to increase its understanding of the links between genetic variants, the impact on the expression of specific genes, and the diagnosis of PCV. PCV and AMD are related diseases, and there are shared genetic causes between the two conditions. This collaboration will inform future development of more targeted therapies for both conditions.

Talking about the collaboration, Prof Gemmy Cheung, who heads AMD research at SERI said, “Polypoidal choroidal vasculopathy represents a significant proportion of patients with neovascular AMD, especially in Asia. Currently there are limited or no specific treatment options for PCV. Exploring the molecular impact of specific genes linked to PCV in this SERI-Gemini collaboration will provide important new information towards designing innovative therapies in future. We are very excited indeed.”

“Our collaboration with SERI is an important extension of the work we’re doing at Gemini to increase understanding and improve the treatment of AMD. As we progress our current clinical program of GEM103, a recombinant Complement Factor H therapy, in dry AMD, expanding our understanding of related ocular diseases and taking a genetic starting point to develop therapeutic options for those patients is a natural next step,” said Jason Meyenburg, Chief Executive Officer of Gemini.


What is PCV?

Polypoidal choroidal vasculopathy (PCV) is a disease affecting the blood vessels in the choroid which supports the retina. Abnormal branching of the blood vessels in the choroid results in aneurysms known as polyps, which can cause leakage of blood and fluid under the retina, causing elevations in the retina and substructures. Patients with PCV may eventually experience irreversible central vision loss in one or both eyes. PCV has a prevalence of between 23 percent and 54 percent in Asian populations diagnosed with AMD. In Caucasian populations between four percent and 10 percent of patients diagnosed with AMD and the genetic basis of the condition is being explored. Current treatments for PCV can involve laser or intravitreal injections, but the response is variable and the preferred treatment for PCV remains unclear.


(** PHOTO CREDIT: Unsplash/JD Mason)




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