Squalamine Boosts Anti-VEGF Effect in Macular Degeneration

by: Caroline Helwick
LAS VEGAS — In patients with neovascular age-related macular degeneration and classic-containing lesions, the addition of 2% squalamine lactate ophthalmic solution (OHR-102, Ohr Pharmaceutical) to ranibizumab increased visual acuity, according to a phase 2 study.
“The IMPACT study showed robust vision gains with the combination of squalamine lactate and ranibizumab in classic-containing lesions,” said David Boyer, MD, from the University of Southern California and the Retina Vitreous Associates Medical Group in Los Angeles.
There was a mean gain in visual acuity and in the proportion of patients with gains of three, four, and five lines — all of which were secondary end points — primarily for patients with classic choroidal neovascularization, Dr Boyer reported here at the American Academy of Ophthalmology 2015 Annual Meeting.
There was no reduction, however, in the number of ranibizumab injections, which was the primary end point of the study.
The intracellular mechanism of action of squalamine lactate inhibits angiogenesis. It alters cellular activation and cell division by blocking signals from multiple growth factors, including vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF), platelet-derived growth factor (PDGF), and basic fibroblastic growth factor.
Squalamine lactate is “a little different” than anti-VEGF drugs and anti-PDGF drugs, which all act extracellularly, Dr Boyer explained. “It has multiple receptors, but it acts intracellularly.”
Because angiogenesis has been implicated in the growth and maintenance of choroidal neovascularization, squalamine lactate could have potential in the treatment of age-related macular degeneration, where blood vessel proliferation plays a pivotal role, he said……..
Read more: http://www.medscape.com/viewarticle/854621
Source: Medscape