Through its proprietary portfolio of new chemical entities (NCEs), SciFluor offers strategic partners the opportunity to greatly expand their pipeline of innovative medicines in a wide range of disease and therapeutic categories such as ophthalmic disease, central nervous system disorders, and inflammation.
SciFluor’s lead drug candidate is SF0166:
SF0166 is a small molecule integrin antagonist designed to treat retinal disease, including Age-related Macular Degeneration (AMD) and Diabetic Macular Edema (DME), via topical administration to the eye. It is a potent and selective small molecule inhibitor of integrin αvβ3 with an optimum balance of physiochemical properties to allow it to distribute to the retina in high concentrations after topical administration. It has been tested in an extensive set of pre-clinical assays and shown to be effective in a validated in vivo model of wet-AMD. The non-fluorinated compound on which it is based does not distribute appreciably to the back of the eye after topical administration.
Diabetic Macular Edema (DME) is the swelling of the retina in diabetic patients due to the leakage of fluid from blood vessels within the macula. The macula is important for the sharp, straight-ahead vision. As macular edema develops, blurring occurs in the middle or just to the side of the central visual field. Visual loss from DME can progress over a period of months and make it impossible to focus clearly. Treatment options for patients with DME traditionally include anti-VEGF drugs, corticosteroid drugs, and laser surgery. The anti-VEGF drugs are administered by frequent intravitreal injections into the back of the eye. While the biology and pathology of DME have been generally understood, safe and effective topical therapy in the form of an eye drop has remained elusive. According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control, approximately 30 million Americans are living with diabetes and approximately 4% of patients living with diabetes, or over 1 million diabetic patients, experience DME1.
Age-related Macular Degeneration (AMD) is the most common cause of severe vision loss in older Americans. It affects central vision and may interfere with daily tasks such as reading and driving. Macular degeneration affects the retina in two forms – dry and wet AMD, also called neovascular AMD. Wet AMD is frequently accompanied by relatively sudden loss of vision. This is caused by the growth of abnormal blood vessels underneath the retina that leak fluid or blood. Recent advances in the treatment of wet AMD can now prevent further loss of vision, or even restore vision in some cases, if treatment is sought promptly. These treatments require frequent injections of biologic drugs into the back of the eye performed in a doctor’s office. Generally, the effectiveness of these treatments decreases with time, therefore improved treatments are actively being sought. A topically administered drug that is safe and effective would be a major advance in patient care.
- Varma R, Bressler NM, Doan QV, Gleeson M, Danese M, Bower JK, et al. Prevalence of and risk factors for diabetic macular edema in the United States. JAMA Ophthalmol. 2014;132(11):1334–40.