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Opko Health To Terminate Late-Stage Trial Of Bevasiranib For Treatment Of Wet Age-Related Macular Degeneration - Update

Specialty healthcare company Opko Health Inc. (OPK) said Friday that it had decided to terminate its late-stage trial of Bevasiranib for the treatment of wet age-related macular degeneration, following the recommendation of the Independent Data Monitoring Committee or IDMC.

Opko Health said although preliminary data show activity of Bevasiranib when used adjunctively with Genentech's Lucentis, review of the data by the IDMC indicated the trial was unlikely to meet its primary endpoint.

Phillip Frost, Chairman and CEO, Opko Health said, "While we are clearly disappointed with the preliminary results of this fully-enrolled study, the indications of activity are encouraging and we look forward to fully analyzing the data in the coming weeks."

There were no systemic safety issues identified and local ocular safety was generally unremarkable.

Opko Health indicated it would continue development of siRNA portfolio targeting Vascular Endothelial Growth Factor or VEGFA, including its VEGFA165b sparing siRNA.

VEGFA165 is known to play a critical role in diseases of the eye where the underlying cause of the problem is abnormal growth of blood vessels, such as in wet age-related macular degeneration. To the contrary, data show that VEGFA165b is an inhibitor of abnormal vessel growth.

These new proprietary siRNA's are designed to inhibit the angiogenic Vascular Endothelial Growth Factor A165 (VEGFA165b isoform) but spare the anti-angiogenic VEGFA165b isoform.

OPK is currently trading at $0.73, down 18 cents or 19.78%.

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