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12:00 AM
 | 
Oct 17, 2011
 |  BioCentury  |  Emerging Company Profile

KalVista: Filling the VEGF void

KalVista developing kallikrein inhibitors for diabetic macular edema

KalVista Pharmaceuticals Ltd. believes its small molecule plasma kallikrein inhibitors will treat diabetic macular edema on par with VEGF inhibitors and will work in more patients. The biotech also hopes to offer injectable and oral delivery options for clinicians.

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

First-line therapy includes laser-induced retinal photocoagulation, which can slow or reverse disease progression and reduce vision loss. However, the procedure works in only about 50% of patients and destroys areas of the retina, according to CEO Andrew Crockett.

VEGF inhibitors are expected to join the DME mix after a Phase III study of Lucentis ranibizumab from the Genentech Inc. unit of Roche and Novartis AG showed Lucentis plus laser therapy significantly improved best corrected visual acuity (BCVA) from baseline at year one vs. laser alone (see BioCentury, May 17, 2010).

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