SOUTHAMPTON, England, September 25, 2013 /PRNewswire/ --
Consortium supported by EU Seventh Framework Programme
KalVista Pharmaceuticals ("KalVista"), an ophthalmology company with a focus on diabetic macular edema (DME), is joining a group of academic and industry researchers to undertake a project known as '3D-NET' ('Drug Discovery and Development of Novel Eye Therapeutics'). The four-year project seeks to enable the development of new drugs for the treatment of ocular disease associated with inflammation, neovascularisation, edema and degeneration, through the complementary capabilities of the partners. The project will be funded through a €1.66 million Marie Curie Industry-Academia Pathways and Partnerships (IAPP) grant award from the EU Seventh Framework Programme (612218/3D-NET).
The consortium partners, in addition to KalVista, include leading researchers in front- and back-of-the-eye diseases, ocular disease models and synthetic chemistry at University College Dublin (Ireland), Universidad de Valladolid (Spain), RenaSci Ltd (Nottingham, UK) and Gadea Grupo Farmacéutico (Spain).
KalVista brings expertise in ocular diseases resulting from diabetes, such as diabetic macular edema, an extensive library of novel compounds already screened for activity in the eye, and proven capabilities in the development of drugs from target identification through to in vitro pharmacology and safety.
"We are delighted to be part of this EU project. The consortium brings a unique combination of skills and opportunities to overcome barriers to ocular drug discovery and development and advance new therapies for a range of eye diseases," commented Andrew Crockett, KalVista CEO. "In addition, this project will provide KalVista with access to new ophthalmology projects and dovetails nicely with our internal programmes focused on intravitreal and oral plasma kallikrein inhibitors for DME. The intravitreal programme is advancing rapidly to the first in human trial, expected to start in early 2014, and we continue to progress our programme focused on novel oral drugs for DME."
Notes to Editors
About KalVista Pharmaceuticals
KalVista is an ophthalmology company with a focus on diabetic macular edema (DME). KalVista is developing novel plasma kallikrein inhibitors, which represents a new approach to the treatment of DME, a leading cause of adult visual loss in developed countries. KalVista has an advanced pre-clinical product pipeline and is targeting both intravitreal injection and oral administration. Although VEGF inhibitors clearly can benefit DME, a significant number of patients do not respond fully to these agents and have limited treatment options. Plasma kallikrein inhibitors target a distinct molecular pathway and as such have the potential to offer those patients an effective treatment option.
KalVista's founders include world experts in diabetic retinopathy, Dr Lloyd Paul Aiello, Professor of Ophthalmology at Harvard Medical School and Director of the Joslin's Beetham Eye Institute, and Dr Edward Feener, Associate Professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School and Joslin Diabetes Center. In addition to this therapeutic expertise, KalVista has a management team with proven experience in bringing small molecules through the clinic to commercialisation and as a result has attracted significant financial backing from leading life science investors, SV Life Sciences and Novo Ventures. The Company's development programmes also receive funding and support from the JDRF and the UK Biomedical Catalyst. http://www.kalvista.com
SOURCE KalVista Pharmaceuticals