ThromboGenics has entered into a collaboration and license agreement with Bicycle Therapeutics to develop and commercialize drugs inhibiting a specific target for the treatment of ophthalmic diseases such as diabetic macular edema (DME). DME is a leading cause of adult vision loss, with a significant proportion of patients failing to respond adequately to existing therapies.
For many years, the standard of care has been to treat DME with laser photocoagulation to the macula. More recently, it has been shown that injectable intravitreal drugs that inhibit vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) are effective.
Bicycle's bicyclic peptides inhibit a target involved in vascular permeability, and selective inhibition of this target offers the potential to improve the treatment of DME. Bicyclic peptides have the affinity and specificity associated with antibodies, but they are much smaller and can be chemically synthesized. They have been shown to address targets not easily tractable with small molecules.
ThromboGenics has gained an exclusive license from Bicycle to undertake clinical development and commercialization of identified drug candidates. In addition, the companies will collaborate on the preclinical development of Bicycle's bicyclic peptide inhibitors.
ThromboGenics will pay Bicycle an undisclosed up-front fee. Bicycle is also eligible for development and regulatory milestone payments and royalties on sales of products resulting from the collaboration.