Anemia company Akebia Therapeutics Inc. spun out Aerpio Therapeutics Inc. in January to develop a Tie2 activator that not only could be more effective than VEGF inhibitors for diabetic macular edema, but also could treat co-morbidities such as diabetic nephropathy.

Diabetic macular edema (DME) is caused by increased permeability of the retinal vasculature, which results in fluid accumulation in the macula, leading to vision loss.