Phase I trials start for anti-angiogenic eye drop therapy for AMD

September 8, 2006

Athenagen Inc. began a phase I clinical trial of mecamylamine (ATG003), its eye drop therapy for age-related macular degeneration (AMD). Animal models showed efficacy of ATG003 as an alternative to current AMD therapies, which require needle injections directly in the eye. The randomized, placebo-controlled, ascending dose clinical trial is designed to evaluate ocular tolerability and safety for up to 14 days.

Athenagen Inc. began a phase I clinical trial of mecamylamine (ATG003), its eye drop therapy for age-related macular degeneration (AMD). Animal models showed efficacy of ATG003 as an alternative to current AMD therapies, which require needle injections directly in the eye. The randomized, placebo-controlled, ascending dose clinical trial is designed to evaluate ocular tolerability and safety for up to 14 days.

ATG003 is a novel anti-angiogenic agent that inhibits endothelial nicotinic acetylcholine receptors. The therapy has been shown to decrease angiogenesis as well as vascular permeability.

“This is a significant advancement in the development of new medications for AMD,” said W. Scott Harkonen, MD, Athenagen president and CEO. “We expect to generate data from our phase I study by the end of the year and plan to move directly into a larger efficacy study in the first part of 2007.”