Visus Therapeutics announced today that it entered into worldwide licensing agreements with Cella Therapeutics and DelSiTech.
The exclusive worldwide licensing agreement with Cella covers the development of investigational ophthalmic therapies for treating glaucoma and age-related macular degeneration (AMD). The additional worldwide exclusive licensing agreement with DelSiTech will lead to the development of novel drug delivery technology to help optimize the clinical benefit of ophthalmic therapies.
According to a news release, under the agreement with Cella Therapeutics, Visus will advance preclinical development programs targeting elevated intraocular pressure, neuroprotection and neuroenhancement in patients with glaucoma and geographic atrophy secondary to AMD.
With DelSiTech, Visus will develop investigational treatments for intraocular administration using a biodegradable, silica-based, sustained-release technology designed to overcome the limitations of currently available ophthalmic therapies through the consistent drug release over an extended period of time, as well as the ability to dissolve as the drug is released, leaving no residue in the eye.
“By expanding our portfolio to include investigational drugs for glaucoma and age-related macular degeneration and leveraging this innovative drug delivery technology, Visus Therapeutics is well-positioned to develop a new generation of therapies that could potentially change the standard of care for these sight-threatening conditions,” Visus co-founder & CEO Ben Bergo said in the release. “This represents a significant step forward in our strategy as we evolve into an innovation-focused ophthalmic company armed with differentiated, patent-protected assets driven by a world-class leadership team.”
Visus develops Brimochol, its lead investigational drug candidate for treating presbyopia, and VTI-003, a preclinical asset with corneal wound healing applications. The company expects topline data from a Phase 2 trial later this year, with potential Phase 3 pivotal studies set to start before the end of 2021.
“The synergistic nature of Cella’s novel, investigational therapeutics for glaucoma and geographic atrophy in combination with DelSiTech’s innovative drug delivery technology has the potential to yield profound advancements in the treatments of these very serious eye diseases,” Visus co-founder, CMO & head of R&D Dr. Rhett Schiffman said. “Our seasoned team of scientists have dedicated their lives’ work to the discovery and development of sight-preserving treatments. The addition of these assets to the Visus Therapeutics portfolio enables our team to harness their collective expertise in pursuit of dramatically improving patient outcomes.”