ThromboGenics has been awarded a €3 million (approximately $4.16 million) grant from the Flemish agency for Innovation by Science and Technology (IWT). The biopharmaceutical company will use the funding to support research into potential new biotherapeutics for the treatment of diabetic macular edema (DME). The aim of the new therapeutics will be to reduce the vascular leakage and inflammation that are central to the sight-threatening condition.

ThromboGenics said it intends to use this funding to develop a better understanding of the role of a novel pathway in DME as the basis for discovering new preclinical therapeutic candidates. This pathway is thought to play an important role in the development of DME by modulating vascular leakage and inflammation, according to the company.

A key part of the IWT grant funded work will be the development of new in vitro assays and in vivo models to identify biotherapeutics which activate the pathway. This will allow ThromboGenics to identify preclinical candidates that meet a target product profile based around in vitro potency, in vivo efficacy, and drug like properties. These new candidates will be generated by leveraging the AMP-Rx protein design technology that the company licensed from Eleven Biotherapeutics in May 2013.

Last month, IWT awarded Galapagos a €2.3 million ($3.19 million) grant to create a new fibrosis research platform that will help the firm develop novel fibrosis drug candidates. 

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