12:00 AM
Oct 21, 2013
 |  BioCentury  |  Emerging Company Profile

Hemera: Special sauce in AMD

Hemera attacks MAC to treat wet and dry AMD

Hemera Bioscience Inc. is designing its MAC-based gene therapy to help treat dry and wet age-related macular degeneration more safely than other therapies targeting the complement pathway in ocular diseases. It also may offer more convenient dosing and treat a wider variety of AMD types than marketed injectable VEGF inhibitors.

Both the wet and dry forms of AMD are characterized by over-activation of the complement cascade. While the cascade plays a key role in maintaining the homeostasis of eye supporting tissue and in helping the innate immune system respond to infection, over-activation of the cascade in the retina is associated with chronic pro-inflammatory damage that can lead to blindness.

Given the large number of molecular actors in the complement cascade, the challenge has been identifying a target that can be inhibited to reduce unwanted back-of-the-eye inflammation without impairing the normal function of the cascade.

Hemera's adeno-associated viral (AAV) vector-based gene therapy is designed to inhibit the complement cascade's membrane...

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