Pharma Focus Asia

Visus Therapeutics Expands Ophthalmic Drug Development Portfolio With Acquisition of ViewPoint Therapeutics’ Assets

Thursday, September 29, 2022

Visus Therapeutics Inc., a clinical stage biopharmaceutical company focused on developing multi-targeted treatments for the eye, today announced it has expanded its pipeline via the acquisition of all patents and other assets of ViewPoint Therapeutics, Inc. (“ViewPoint”). Founded in 2014, ViewPoint discovered and developed alpha-crystallin aggregation inhibitors as investigational non-surgical treatments to correct protein misfolding in the lens. Protein misfolding reduces lens elasticity and clarity leading to presbyopia and cataract, the leading causes of visual disability worldwide. Presbyopia is an inability to see near objects clearly, due to a loss of lens elasticity, that begins in the 40s and inevitably worsens with age. As protein misfolding worsens, cataracts, or clouding of the lens, may develop that can affect all vision-related activities. Alpha-crystallin aggregation inhibitors are intended to restore elasticity and lens clarity, potentially reversing presbyopia and cataracts without the need for surgery.

“We have already demonstrated that intraocular delivery of alpha-crystallin aggregation inhibitors reverses age-related cataracts in primates, giving us confidence that this approach may be effective in humans,” said Rhett M. Schiffman MD, MS, MHSA, the company’s co-founder, chief medical officer and head of research and development. “It may even be possible that intervening in presbyopia may not only restore near vision but prevent the development of cataracts in many patients. The ViewPoint acquisition provides an extensive library of potent drug candidates with highly desirable pharmaceutical properties for ocular delivery,” said Dr. Schiffman. Lead candidate selection is anticipated in Q1 2023.

“Visus is currently conducting two Phase 3 pivotal studies of its preservative-free eyedrops, BRIMOCHOL™ PF and Carbachol PF, for the treatment of presbyopia. The ViewPoint assets are a natural complement to this late-stage program and will enable the company to further expand its pipeline targeting the leading causes of age-related loss of vision,” said Ben Bergo, co-founder and chief executive officer of Visus.

“More than a third of the world’s population have presbyopia or cataracts, and this will only increase as the population ages. A non-surgical approach to treating and possibly preventing cataracts and presbyopia could improve the quality of life of millions of people, globally, and would be a disruptive addition to the management of our patients,” said Eric D, Donnenfeld, MD, Founding Partner, Ophthalmic Consultants of New York, Clinical Professor of Ophthalmology, New York University Medical Center, and Chair of Visus’ Medical Advisory Board.

Visus looks forward to sharing additional information during the Eyecelerator meeting at the American Academy of Ophthalmology conference in Chicago, IL on Thursday, September 29th.

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