Findings published in peer-reviewed Experimental Eye Research

Establishment of NHP model meaningfully de-risks drug candidates for severe, prevalent retinal diseases responsible for vision loss

NEW HAVEN, Conn., April 27, 2020 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Virscio, a translational research company providing definitive, actionable preclinical outcomes through the use of predictive, validated disease models, today announced publication of data that validate a nonhuman primate (NHP) model for testing drug candidates targeting retinal ischemic and neovascular diseases. The article, titled, “Primate model of chronic retinal neovascularization and vascular leakage,” was published in Experimental Eye Research.

“A major limitation to the development of effective therapies that limit the treatment burden for retinal vascular disease is the lack of availability of animal models that recapitulate the chronic nature of wet age-related macular degeneration, diabetic retinopathy and other conditions within clinically relevant anatomy,” said Matthew Lawrence, M.D., Ph.D., Chief Executive Officer of Virscio. “Findings from this novel, nonhuman primate model described in our publication meaningfully expand the translational tools available to the biomedical community to de-risk clinical candidates that are additive or superior to standard of care and/or extend duration of effect and reduce anti-VEGF dosing frequency.”

The publication describes the successful DL-aminoadipic acid (DLAAA)-mediated injury to Müller glial cells to induce retinal vascular pathology, optimizing an approach historically pursued in less translationally relevant species. In precisely titrated interventions, DLAAA triggers a phenotype of intraretinal macular vascular occlusion and neovascularization in green monkeys with clinical exam and histology correlates to exudative age-related macular degeneration, diabetic retinopathy, macular telangiectasia and other retinal ischemic and neovascular diseases. The model highlights the unique susceptibility of the macula to vascular and metabolic insults – a pathophysiology that can only be modeled in NHPs. The durable disease phenotype is responsive to anti-VEGF interventions that constitute current standard of care, supporting application of the DLAAA model to both efficacy evaluations of sustained-release strategies and of novel candidate therapeutics.

About Virscio
Virscio is a translational research and development company devoted to providing predictive preclinical research models and services to accelerate therapeutic candidate evaluation and reduce the risk of clinical failure. Virscio engages with leading pharmaceutical, biotechnology and academic sponsors and collaborators to design and execute a wide range of preclinical studies and translational research programs across multiple therapeutic areas.  Application of Virscio’s unique translational capabilities is enabled by flexible scientific and commercial interactions that span contract research services, research collaborations and R&D partnering agreements. For more information, visit or connect on LinkedIn.

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