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The patent covers OPT-302 and its use to treat disorders involving neovascularisation, including eye diseases such as wet age-related macular degeneration (wet AMD) and diabetic macular edema (DME).
The granting of the OPT-302 patent builds on Opthea’s extensive intellectual property portfolio covering soluble forms of VEGFR-3 ‘trap’ molecule.
VEGFR-3 blocks the activity of two proteins that cause blood vessels in the eyes to grow and leak, leading to blindness.
It is worth noting that wet AMD is the leading cause of blindness in the developed world in individuals aged 50 years or older.
The U.S. represents the largest market for both wet AMD and DME.
The annual sales for therapies for these diseases were in excess of US$6.5 billion in 2016.
Opthea is progressing plans to initiate a 350 patient Phase 2B wet AMD clinical trial.
The company plans to initiate patient recruitment into the Phase 2B wet AMD and Phase 2A clinical trials in the second half of 2017.