Glycadia Pharmaceuticals features innovative products for complications of diabetes, including nephropathy, retinopathy and cardiovascular disease.
Diabetic retinopathy affects approximately 30% of patients with diabetes and is a serious threat to vision. Diabetic retinopathy is the leading cause of new blindness in adults, and is the underlying cause of approximately 20% of new blindness diagnosed in the United States each year. Diabetic retinopathy results from damage to the circulatory system of the retina, affects both eyes similarly and progresses through two phases:
Non-proliferative retinopathy: This phase initially manifests as leakiness and weakness of the retinal vessels. Small bulges (microaneurysms) protrude from the walls of the retinal capillaries, which can ooze fluid and blood into the retina. With progression, other signs of damage include patches of swollen nerve fibers, swelling of retinal veins, closure of vessels and development of proliferative retinopathy.
Proliferative retinopathy: This phase is characterized by the growth on the retina of new rogue vessels which are fragile and prone to hemorrhage, leaking blood into the retina and vitreous and causing retinal tears and detachment, formation of scar tissue and neovascular glaucoma. Closure of capillaries supplying blood to the light-concentrating central portion of the retina and swelling (macular edema), which severely compromise vision, can develop at all phases of retinopathy.
The main treatment modalities for diabetic retinopathy entail laser photocoagulation for macular edema and severe non-proliferative and proliferative disease, and surgical removal of blood (vitrectomy) and scar tissue. Timely laser photocoagulation and vitrectomy can reduce the risk for visual loss but do not cure the underlying disease. Many patients with vision-threatening retinopathy are without symptoms until late stages, and diabetic retinopathy remains a serious medical problem with no approved drug therapy.
According to the Glycadia website, in preclinical studies, Glycadia’s current lead product, GLY-230, has been shown to restore the balance between proangiogenic and anti-angiogenic factors in ocular fluid, and to reduce products of oxidative stress.
Essentially, Glycadia, Inc. is a clinical stage biopharmaceutical company developing therapeutics for the prevention and treatment of vascular complications of diabetes.
Glycadia’s science is based on recent discoveries concerning the causal role of circulating glycated proteins in the development of complications of diabetes involving the kidney, eye and other organs. The process of nonenzymatic glycation is accelerated in diabetes, giving rise to elevated amounts of glucose-modified proteins that trigger untoward cellular events and promote organ damage. The company’s drug development programs are focused on inhibiting the excess nonenzymatic glycation of key proteins to reduce the burden of these blood-borne factors that trigger abnormalities in cell signaling pathways and molecular mediators that underlie diabetic nephropathy, retinopathy, and cardiovascular disease, which continue to occur and progress despite the availability of newer glucose-lowering agents.
Glycadia’s core technology was developed by its leading scientists and collaborators at the University of Pennsylvania. The company owns a rich patent estate covering these technologies and its new chemical entities.
To date, the company says it has raised approximately $25 million from private investors and competitively awarded SBIR grants from the National Institutes of Health.