LEUVEN, Belgium, March 10, 2014 /PRNewswire/ --
ThromboGenics NV (Euronext Brussels: THR), an integrated biopharmaceutical company focused on developing and commercializing innovative ophthalmic medicines for the back of the eye, today announces that it has been awarded a €3 million grant from the Flemish agency for Innovation by Science and Technology (IWT). The grant funding will be used by ThromboGenics to support research into potential new biotherapeutics for the treatment of diabetic macular edema (DME). The aim of these new therapeutics will be to reduce the vascular leakage and inflammation which are central to this sight-threatening condition.
ThromboGenics intends to use this funding to develop a much better understanding of the role of a novel pathway in diabetic macular edema as the basis for discovering new pre-clinical therapeutic candidates. This pathway is thought to play an important role in the development of DME by modulating vascular leakage and inflammation. A key part of the IWT grant funded work will be the development of new in vitro assays and in vivo models to identify biotherapeutics which activate the pathway. This will allow the Company to identify pre-clinical candidates that meet a target product profile based around in vitro potency, in vivo efficacy and drug like properties. These new candidates will be generated by ThromboGenics leveraging the AMP-Rx protein design technology which the company licensed from Eleven Biotherapeutics in May 2013.
DME results from fluid leakage into the area of the retina which is responsible for clear central vision. It occurs in type 1 and type 2 diabetes patients. DME is sight-threatening and can cause moderate to severe visual loss. Globally, 21 million people are estimated to live with DME. Over 20% of people living with type 1 diabetes and 14-25% of people with type 2 diabetes (depending on their use of insulin) will develop DME within ten years.
Dr Patrik De Haes, CEO of ThromboGenics comments: "The award of this grant from IWT will enable us to continue to progress our research activities in the field of diabetic eye disease. We believe that by gaining a greater understanding of this novel pathway we may be able to discover and develop new biotherapeutics that could play a key role in the treatment of diabetic macular edema. DME is a very prevalent condition where there is still scope to improve on the clinical outcomes delivered by current treatment options including laser coagulation, anti-VEGF antibodies and steroids."
 20. Yau JW, Rogers SL, Kawasaki R, et al. Global prevalence and major risk factors of diabetic retinopathy. Diabetes Care. 2012 Mar;35(3):556-64. Accessed June 2013, http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22301125.
 29. Kulkarni AD, Michael SI. Diabetic Macular Edema: Therapeutic Options. Diabetes Ther. 2012 December;3(1):2. Accessed June 2013, http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3508119/.
ThromboGenics is an integrated biopharmaceutical company focused on developing and commercializing innovative ophthalmic and oncology medicines. The Company's lead product, JETREA® (ocriplasmin), has been approved by the US FDA for the treatment of symptomatic VMA and was launched in January 2013.
ThromboGenics signed a strategic partnership with Alcon, a division of Novartis, for the commercialization of JETREA® outside the United States. Under this agreement, ThromboGenics will receive significant royalties from Alcon's net sales of JETREA®. ThromboGenics and Alcon intend to share the costs equally of developing JETREA® for a number of new vitreoretinal indications.
Alcon has launched JETREA® in the UK, Germany, Italy, Finland, Denmark, Norway, Sweden and Canada.
ThromboGenics is also further exploring anti-PIGF (Placental Growth Factor), also referred to as TB-403, for the treatment of ophthalmic and oncology indications.
ThromboGenics is headquartered in Leuven, Belgium, and has offices in Iselin, NJ (US) and Dublin, Ireland. The Company is listed on the NYSE Euronext Brussels exchange under the symbol THR. More information is available at http://www.thrombogenics.com.
Important information about forward-looking statements
Certain statements in this press release may be considered "forward-looking". Such forward-looking statements are based on current expectations, and, accordingly, entail and are influenced by various risks and uncertainties. The Company therefore cannot provide any assurance that such forward-looking statements will materialize and does not assume an obligation to update or revise any forward-looking statement, whether as a result of new information, future events or any other reason. Additional information concerning risks and uncertainties affecting the business and other factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from any forward-looking statement is contained in the Company's Annual Report.
This press release does not constitute an offer or invitation for the sale or purchase of securities or assets of ThromboGenics in any jurisdiction. No securities of ThromboGenics may be offered or sold within the United States without registration under the U.S. Securities Act of 1933, as amended, or in compliance with an exemption therefrom, and in accordance with any applicable U.S. state securities laws.
For further information please contact:
Wouter Piepers, Global Head of Corporate Communications
+32-16-75-13-10 / +32-478-33-56-32
Citigate Dewe Rogerson
David Dible/ Sita Shah
SOURCE ThromboGenics NV