Diabetic retinopathy therapeutic pipeline analysis is projected to grow as perceived by the current situation of increasing prevalence of diabetes, globally. Some of the main factors driving the pipeline analysis for diabetic retinopathy include obesity, incidence of diabetes mellitus, stress conditions and increasing prevalence of diabetic retinopathy, low market penetration since a limited number of companies are making an analog and increasing awareness of health issues. According to the data by National Eye Institute, the prevalence of diabetic retinopathy has been increasing mainly in Hispanic and white population. The disease affects equally in both male and female.
Diabetic retinopathy is a type of an eye disease, that affect mostly people with diabetes. The other condition associated with the disease include cataract, diabetic macular edema and glaucoma. All these conditions are have the potential to cause blindness and vision loss. Diabetic retinopathy leads to leakage of blood vessels which distort the vision and sometimes swelling occurs in macula region in case of diabetic macular edema. The major cause of diabetic retinopathy is high blood sugar level which damages the tiny blood vessels in retina, and can also cause haemorrhage. Diabetic retinopathy can occur in four stages namely; mild, moderate, severe and proliferative diabetic retinopathy. In mild conditions swelling of retina blood vessels occur which become distorted in moderate stage due to blockage of blood flow. This leads to the growth of new blood vessels in severe case and in proliferative stage, retinal detachment occurs which can lead to permanent vision loss. Diabetic retinopathy can be diagnosed by visual acuity testing, pupil dilation, tonometry and optical coherence tomography.
Many companies are developing drug for diabetic retinopathy which has shown promising result in clinical trials. Regeneron Pharmaceuticals, Inc. is developing a drug by the name Aflibercept for the improvement of diabetic retinopathy. Aflibercept is a recombinant fusion protein of 115 kD bind to the VEGF receptor 1 and 2, which has anti-vascular endothelial growth factors, and it inhibits the generation of new blood vessels. Acucela Inc. is currently developing Emixustat, which is in Phase II clinical trial. Emixustat, effectively reduces oxygen consumption and reduce the metabolic burden of an eye. PolyPhotonix Ltd. is developing a non-invasive light based therapy sleep mask for diabetic retinopathy patients. This mask delivers appropriate dose of light during sleep and prevents oxygen to reach the retina. ThromboGenics NV is developing a Ocriplasmin, which is in Phase II clinical trial, and has shown positive response in patients with moderate to very severe proliferative diabetic retinopathy. F. Hoffmann-La Roche AG is developing RO6867461, which is in Phase II clinical trial. RO6867461 drug targets the vascular endothelial growth factors, which leads to the decrease in the inhibition of the growth of blood vessels, thereby decreasing the progression of diabetic retinopathy.
Some of the companies having a pipeline of diabetic retinopathy therapeutics include Bayer, Novartis, F. Hoffmann-La Roche, Alimera Science, Valeant Pharmaceutical, Inc., Abbott Laboratories, Pfizer, Inc. Regeneron Pharmaceutical, ThromboGenics, Inc., Ampio Pharmaceuticals, Inc.