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Researchers describe protease inhibitor that may aid in diabetic retinopathy treatment
Date:1/21/2009

arget in people with diabetic retinopathy. "This recent study suggests new opportunities to inhibit plasma kallikrein and reduce retinal blood vessel leakage," said Dr. Feener. "While these results are encouraging, more work is needed to understand plasma kallikrein's role in other retinal functions, as well as other diabetic complications, which can occur concurrently with diabetic retinopathy."

"We are very encouraged by the pharmacological activity demonstrated by ASP-440 in this model of hypertensive retinal vascular permeability," said Tamie Chilcote, Ph.D., Vice-President, Lead Discovery, for ActiveSite Pharmaceuticals. "We look forward to further studies in collaboration with Dr. Feener to better establish the therapeutic potential of this and other plasma kallikrein inhibitors for treatment of retinopathy."

Diabetic Retinopathy

Diabetic retinopathy is the most common and most serious eye-related complication of diabetes. It is a progressive disease that causes retinal swelling and destroys small blood vessels in the retina, eventually leading to vision problems. In its most advanced forms, known as "diabetic macular edema" and "proliferative retinopathy," it can cause moderate to severe vision loss and blindness. Nearly all people with type 1 diabetes show some symptoms of diabetic retinopathy usually after about 20 years of living with diabetes. Approximately 20 to 30 percent of patients develop the advanced form. Those with type 2 diabetes are also at risk.

Over time, the disease progresses to its advanced or proliferative stage, and fragile new blood vessels grow along the retina. However, these fragile vessels can hemorrhage easily, and blood may leak into the retina and the clear, gel-like vitreous that fills inside of the eye. Unless quickly treated, this can result in spots, floaters, flashes, blurred vision, vision loss, and even temporary blindness. In later phases of the disease, continued abnormal vesse
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Contact: Joana Casas
mcasas@jdrf.org
212-479-7560
Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation International
Source:Eurekalert

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