Friday, February 24, 2017
Santen, Inc., the U.S. subsidiary of Santen Pharmaceutical Co., Ltd., the specialty ophthalmology company headquartered in Osaka, Japan, and twoXAR, Inc., an artificial intelligence-driven biopharmaceutical company, today announced that the two companies have entered into a strategic research collaboration focused on the identification of new drug candidates for glaucoma.
Under the agreement, twoXAR will use its proprietary computational drug discovery platform to discover, screen, and prioritize novel drug candidates with potential application in ocular indications, with a specific focus on glaucoma. Santen will have the exclusive right to develop and commercialize drug candidates arising from the collaboration. Further details of the agreement were not disclosed.
“We are pleased to have established this strategic collaboration with twoXAR which aims to deliver new treatment options for the millions of people living with glaucoma globally,” said Naveed Shams, MD, PhD, Senior Corporate Officer, Chief Scientific Officer and Head of Global Research and Development at Santen. “By leveraging twoXAR’s proprietary computational discovery platform to identify novel targets in areas of glaucoma, Santen further strengthens our R&D capabilities while expanding our pipeline of innovative therapeutic opportunities that help fulfill the unmet medical needs in ophthalmology.”
Glaucoma is a group of degenerative disorders of the optic nerve, and it is the second leading cause of blindness worldwide. Ophthalmologists use a variety of treatment modalities to address glaucoma in its various forms, including pharmaceuticals, laser procedures, and incisional surgical interventions, but medications generally are the first and most common option. For decades, ophthalmologists have used prescription ocular hypotensive compounds to treat glaucoma and ocular hypertension (OHT). These medications aim to lower elevated intraocular pressure (IOP), one of the most common and significant risk factors for glaucoma’s progression. In 2010, 60.5 million people globally were living with glaucoma. Given the aging of the world's population, the number of people living with glaucoma may increase to nearly 80 million by 2020.
“This collaboration is an exciting example that demonstrates how software-driven approaches can lead the discovery of new drugs rather than simply supporting existing hypotheses,” said Andrew A. Radin, co-founder and Chief Executive Officer of twoXAR. “The combination of twoXAR’s unique capabilities in artificial intelligence-driven drug discovery with Santen’s experience in ophthalmic product development and commercialization provides a foundation upon which we can rapidly discover and develop new therapeutic candidates to treat glaucoma and bring better treatment options to the millions of people living with this disease.”