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Modified vitamin A used in new therapy for eye disease

A modified form of vitamin A is hoped to provide a new therapy in the treatment of dry age-related macular degeneration and Stargardt disease. A license agreement between Alkeus Pharmaceuticals and Columbia University will further test the technology developed by Dr. Ilyas Washington at Columbia University Medical Center. Preclinical testing has demonstrated that the compounds in this modified vitamin A reduce the build-up of certain toxic pigments in the eye. These pigments are thought to play a part in the vision loss related to dry-AMD and Stargardt disease and these deposits build up with age. These preclinical trials showed that just a slight adjustment to the vitamin A results in a substantial reduction in the rate of formation of these toxic pigments. While other therapeutic compositions have explored reducing the accumulation of these toxic pigments, they employed more invasive techniques. This current new therapy relies on a new mechanism of action which supports the distinct chemical bonds that have to be broken in order to form these pigments.

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