Othera Pharmaceuticals, NEI begin dry AMD study

January 10, 2007

Exton, PA-Othera Pharmaceuticals Inc. has begun enrollment for a phase II clinical trial of its topical eye drop OT-551 in patients with bilateral geographic atrophy (GA), an advanced form of dry age-related macular degeneration (AMD).

Exton, PA-Othera Pharmaceuticals Inc. has begun enrollment for a phase II clinical trial of its topical eye drop OT-551 in patients with bilateral geographic atrophy (GA), an advanced form of dry age-related macular degeneration (AMD).

The study, sponsored by the National Eye Institute, is being conducted at the National Institutes of Health Clinical Center in Bethesda, MD. It is designed to evaluate the potential of the drop to reduce the loss in central visual acuity and slow enlargement of the atrophic area in the macula.

Researchers hope to enroll up to 10 patients with bilateral GA who are aged 50 or more years. The trial is expected to last 2 years.

“Geographic atrophy is an unmet medical need that results in severe and irreversible loss of vision,” said Len Parver, MD, medical director of Othera. “An eye drop like OT-551 that could potentially prevent or arrest progression would be a major breakthrough in treating this disease.”

Othera also plans to initiate its own, larger phase II study of OT-551 for GA as well as a trial of the drop as an adjunctive therapy in the treatment of wet AMD. The company currently is testing OT-551 in a phase II study of its ability to prevent or slow the progression of post-vitrectomy nuclear cataract.