Arctic Vision Partners with the Department of Ophthalmology at the University of Hong Kong to Discover and Develop New Neuroprotective Therapies for Eye Diseases
SHANGHAI and HONG KONG, July 4, 2021 / PRNewswire / – Arctic Vision, a ChinaClinical-stage ophthalmology company is focused on the development of innovative therapies for pan-ocular diseases, today announcing a new research collaboration with Prof. Christophe Leung, head and clinical professor in the ophthalmology department of the Hong Kong University (HKU) for the discovery and development of novel neuroprotective therapies for glaucoma.
Glaucoma, an optic neuropathy characterized by progressive loss of retinal ganglion cells (RGCs), is the leading cause of irreversible blindness worldwide.1 In 2020, there were approximately 76 million glaucoma patients worldwide, with up to 22 million in China alone. 1.2 Currently, the most common therapeutic approaches aim to lower the intraocular pressure (IOP) to slow down the degeneration of the optic nerve. However, a significant portion of patients with glaucoma suffer from progressive visual impairment despite adequate IOP control. For this reason, there is an urgent need to prevent blindness associated with glaucoma through new mechanisms.
Neuroprotection, in the form of non-IOP interventions to prevent or delay glaucomatous neurodegeneration, has been highlighted as an unmet need in the management of glaucoma since the World Glaucoma Association consensus meeting in 2010.3 However, no neuroprotective therapy has been approved for the treatment of glaucoma to date. This groundbreaking collaboration between Arctic Vision and HKU to discover new therapies with novel mechanisms of action marks a paradigm shift in global research approaches to the treatment of glaucoma.
This project has three main objectives:
– Modulate mitochondrial activity as a neuroprotective strategy for glaucoma;
– Develop gene therapy based on microRNAs for the protection of the optic nerve in patients with glaucoma;
– Reprogram cellular pathways for neuroprotection and neuro-regeneration in RMCs.
Arctic Vision will sponsor this four-year collaboration, which will include the development of experimental models of in vivo glaucoma and a phase 1 clinical trial.
Dr Eddy (Hoi Ti) Wu, Founder, Chief Executive Officer and Director of the Board of Directors of Arctic Vision, said: âThe goal of Arctic Vision is to discover, develop and deliver the most effective panocular therapies. innovative in the world. Over the past two years, we have built a strong clinical portfolio of licensed assets with proprietary technology platforms while raising over $ 140 million in capital. With this new collaboration with HKU and Professor Leung, we are now investing in the exploration and discovery of new R&D approaches to meet serious global needs. Over the next four years, we will work closely with Professor Leung to advance new approaches to neuroprotection for glaucoma patients who experience progressive vision loss despite adequate IOP control. We are particularly excited to sponsor cutting-edge research in the emerging field of microRNA-based gene therapies, which have the potential to transform the therapeutic landscape on a global scale. Overall, this will enhance our R&D capabilities as well as our portfolio to address the unmet medical needs of patients in China and globally. ”
Dianna Qian, Partner of Pivotal bioVentures China and Chairman of Arctic Vision, commented: âAs a fund specializing in life sciences, most of the funding comes from Hong Kong, Pivotal bioVentures China actively promoted collaboration between leading Hong Kong-based research institutions and our incubated companies. This sponsorship not only has strategic significance for Arctic Vision, but also an important step in the development of the life sciences industry.
Teacher. Christophe Leung, head and clinical professor in the ophthalmology department of the Hong Kong University (HKU), added, âWe are delighted to receive generous support from Arctic Vision to continue our research into the treatment of glaucoma. , and develop new therapies to protect and regenerate RGCs in glaucoma and other optic neuropathies. This sponsored collaboration allows us to advance the science of treating glaucoma by exploring the potential of new approaches such as microRNA-based gene therapy. This collaboration will also support the training of vision scientists and biomedical engineers in Hong Kong. We look forward to further breakthroughs in this area that will ultimately benefit patients around the world. “
Flaxman SR, Bourne RRA, Resnikoff S, Ackland P, Braithwaite T, Cicinelli MV, Das A, Jonas JB, Keeffe J, Kempen JH, Leasher J, Limburg H, Naidoo K, Pesudovs K, Silvester A, Stevens GA, Tahhan N , Wong TY, Taylor RH; Global Burden of Disease Study Vision Loss Expert Panel. Global causes of blindness and visual impairment by far 1990-2020: a systematic review and meta-analysis. Lancet Glob Health. 2017; 5: e1221-e1234.
Quigley HA, Broman AT. The number of people with glaucoma worldwide in 2010 and 2020. Br J Ophthalmol. 2006; 90: 262-7.
About Arctic Vision
Arctic Vision is a Chinaclinical-stage specialist ophthalmology company with a cutting-edge portfolio of cutting-edge technologies. The company’s vision is to meet unmet medical needs in ophthalmology through the discovery, development and commercialization of innovative therapies in China, Asia and globally. Arctic Vision is led by an elite team of ophthalmic industry veterans with substantial and compelling experience in R&D and commercialization of eye care products in both China and globally. For more information, please visit https://arcticvision.com.
About Hong Kong University & Teacher Christophe Leung
Founded in 1911, the Hong Kong University (HKU) is the first and oldest higher education institution in Hong Kong. For over a century, the University has been dedicated to creating knowledge, educating and serving society. Today, HKU has an established global reputation as a comprehensive research-led university with ten faculties and a strong commitment to intellectual freedom, liberty and diversity.
Teacher. Christophe Leung, head and clinical professor in the ophthalmology department of the Hong Kong University (HKU), is a regional and global expert in glaucoma as well as diagnostic imaging of the optic nerve. He is the recipient of several local and international awards and distinctions in research and professional services, including the World Glaucoma Congress Science Award (2009), the Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology (ARVO) Clinician-Scientist Research Award (2010 ), World Glaucoma Congress Young Clinician Scientist Award (2011), Asia Pacific Glaucoma Society Young Investigator Award (2012), American Academy of Ophthalmology Secretariat Award (2012), Stuart Brown Lecturer (2013), American Academy of Ophthalmology Senior Achievement Award (2015 ), World Information Technology and Services Alliance Global Information and Communications Excellence Award (2019), and Hong Kong Information and Communications Technology Awards – Smart Living Grand Award (2019), among others. At HKU Ophthalmology, he heads the Glaucoma and Optic Nerve Diagnostic Laboratory, Optic Nerve Protection and Regeneration Laboratory, and Virtual Reality Laboratory.
For more information, please visit https://ophthalmology.hku.hk
SOURCE Arctic Vision