Okogen, Inc., a developer of ophthalmic anti-infectives, received a notice of allowance from the United States Patent and Trademark Office for the use of ranpirnase for the treatment of viral conjunctivitis.
Okogen, Inc., a developer of ophthalmic anti-infectives, received a notice of allowance from the United States Patent and Trademark Office for the use of ranpirnase for the treatment of viral conjunctivitis. “The claims granted under 3IPOK1.0002US, in combination with the our existing in-licensed portfolio, further reinforce our strong intellectual property position,” said Brian M. Strem, Ph.D., Chief Executive Officer of Okogen. OKG-0301, the company’s lead candidate, is an ophthalmic formulation of ranpirnase, a potent ribonuclease with broad-spectrum antiviral properties. Adenoviral conjunctivitis is the primary cause of eye infections globally, with no approved therapies, and therefore remains a significant unmet medical need throughout the world.
OKG-0301 has demonstrated a potent and dose-responsive anti-viral effect in a clinically predictive rabbit model of adenoviral conjunctivitis. These data, being presented at the Annual Meeting of the Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology (ARVO 2017) meeting, provide a basis for the ongoing development of a therapeutic that can significantly reduce both the contagious and symptomatic timelines associated with this miserable infection.
“We are excited to see that OKG-0301 performed effectively and reproducibly in this clinically predictive model of adenoviral conjunctivitis. Currently, patients who are infected by adenoviruses rely solely on supportive care, enduring weeks of active infection and miserable symptoms. Our timeline is to have OKG-0301 tested in a clinical setting by the end of 2017 and expect to help affected patients return to daily activities in an accelerated manner,” added Dr. Strem.
OKG-0301 is based on ranpirnase, the active pharmaceutical ingredient (API) that previously advanced to late stage clinical trials in oncology. As an IV formulation, this API has been administered to over 800 patients as part of this clinical testing, in addition to a significant amount of work in preclinical toxicology and CMC. These data highlight a strong safety profile as well as a validated, commercial-scale manufacturing process that will accelerate OKG-0301’s path to the clinic.
About Adenoviral Conjunctivitis
Worldwide, adenoviral conjunctivitis is the most common eye infection and affects up to 25 million individuals, annually. The condition is a leading ocular disease driving patients to seek treatment. Most cases involve eye redness with varying degrees of swelling and some component of ocular discharge. This is accompanied by clinical symptoms including pain, itching, and a foreign body sensation. The infection lasts for 2-3 weeks and patients generally remain contagious for 10-14 days. Transmission to family members or close contacts is very common and patients are advised to avoid work and/or school until symptoms fully resolve.
Okogen is a biotechnology company focused on developing therapeutics to help patients with ocular infections. The lead candidate is OKG-0301, a potent, broad-spectrum antiviral that functions intracellularly to inhibit viral replication. This mechanism of action provides opportunity to address adenoviral infections of the eye as well as other classes of viruses that are active in the ocular space, including herpes simplex virus, varicella-zoster virus, picornavirus, and more.