Squalamine earns closer look as wet AMD aid.

November 1, 2004

Plymouth Meeting, PA-Genaera Corp. is expanding its third U.S. phase II clinical trial of squalamine, its small-molecule, anti-angiogenic drug for the treatment of wet age-related macular degeneration (AMD).

Plymouth Meeting, PA-Genaera Corp. is expanding its third U.S. phase II clinical trial of squalamine, its small-molecule, anti-angiogenic drug for the treatment of wet age-related macular degeneration (AMD).

The expanded trial will offer further analysis of a 10-mg dose of squalamine, which is designed to enhance the work of verteporfin (Visudyne, Novartis Ophthalmics/QLT) treatment by inhibiting the detrimental effects of the VEGF "burst" that commonly occurs after verteporfin use.

The trial was originally designed to test 20- and 40-mg doses, however early results of another phase II trial indicated the need to study a 10-mg dose.

In related news, the company announced Sept. 30 it has received a $100,000 Small Business Innovation Research grant from the National Eye Institute to develop squalamine-related aminosterols further as next-generation, anti-angiogenic medicines for the treatment of wet AMD.

The grant will help Genaera evaluate analogs of squalamine to identify additional compounds with improved features as potential second-generation therapies for treating wet AMD.

"Our goal is to use this program-specific funding to identify and develop orally bio-available anti-angiogenic aminosterols for both AMD and cancer indications," said Roy C. Levitt, MD, Genaera's president and chief executive officer.