Alkahest Inc. has reported that AKST4290, an oral medication for treatment of wet AMD, was shown in trials to be safe, effective, and “extremely promising”.
Speaking at the 2019 Retina World Congress, Michael Stewart, MD (Mayo Clinic, Jacksonville), reported that 83% of subjects’ eyes had improved acuity of a mean 7+ letters, and 21% gained 15 or more letters over a period of six weeks. AKST4290 inhibits the CCR3 protein that plays a part in blood vessel growth (neovascularization) leading to wet AMD.
According to Dr. Stewart, “The potential for gaining meaningful visual improvement with an oral agent in neovascular AMD represents a major step forward for patients. Based on the data, it is clear these encouraging results warrant further study.”
This report follows earlier news about another oral medication for wet AMD, X-82, which is currently in Phase 2 trials sponsored by Tyrogenex, Inc. X-82 is different than AKST4290 in that it is intended for use in combination with anti-VEGF injections. The expectation is that the combination therapy will reduce the number of injections required for stabilizing the retina.
A safe and effective oral drug that reduces or eliminates the need for eye injections promises to be an attractive, less burdensome, option for patients and doctors alike.
For information about all leading research in treatment for wet AMD, see “Antiangiogenic drugs are stopping neovascularization” on this site.