Human trials begin for promising diabetic retinopathy treatment

Fri, 05 Sep 2014
Human trials are set to begin for a new medication, currently called KVD001, which treats diabetic macular edema, a form of diabetic retinopathy.

Diabetic retinopathy is one of the most common complications of diabetes and most likely to develop a form of the condition within 10 years of having diabetes. Diabetic macular edema is a form of retinopathy in which damaged blood vessels (the hallmark of retinopathy) cause leaking of fluid onto the macula, the part of the eye responsible for our central vision.

KVD001 is an intravitreal plasma kallikrein inhibitor drug that is given by injection into the eye. Whilst injections into the eye may sound painful, in practice they are not as eye-watering as they sound.

There is currently only one medication, Lucentis, has been officially licensed for treatment of diabetic macular edema. Having another medication such as KVD001 would give doctors more choice over which treatment to give and, because it works in a different way to Lucentis, it means that it could help save the sight of people for whom Lucentis is not effective.

KVD001 has been developed by KalVista Pharmaceuticals, a company in Hampshire. The clinical trials, which will be run across five different centres within the United States, are being funded by the type 1 diabetes charity, the JDRF.
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