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KalVista Pharmaceuticals and JDRF Form Research Partnership Focused on Novel Approach for Treating Diabetic Eye Disease
Date:1/9/2012

iabetic retinopathy is the most common and most serious eye-related complication of diabetes, and is the leading cause of new cases of legal blindness among adults aged 20 to 74 years in the United States(1). 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. According to the National Eye Institute, 40-45 percent of Americans diagnosed with diabetes have some stage of diabetic retinopathy(2).

DME, which involves swelling in the retina that transiently or permanently impairs vision, can occur at any stage of diabetic retinopathy. Treatment to prevent or reverse this condition remains a major unmet clinical need.

The detrimental effects of plasma kallikrein on the retina occur independently of vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF), which is produced in excessive amounts in people with diabetes and also contributes to the development of diabetic eye disease. VEGF causes leakage in the small blood vessels of the eye that can lead to vision loss and, eventually, blindness. Therapies targeting VEGF are approved for the treatment of DME in Europe and are currently being submitted to the U.S. FDA for approval. However, while intravitreal VEGF inhibitors have shown clear benefit in clinical trials through reducing macular edema and increasing visual acuity, a significant proportion of DME patients do not respond fully to VEGF treatment. KalVista's approach offers the potential to add to the treatment options for sufferers of DME including those that are non-responsive to VEGF inhibitors.

About KalVista Pharmaceuticals

KalVista is a new ophthalmology company with a focus on diabetic macular edema (DME). KalVista is developing novel plasma kallikrein inhibitors, which represents a new approach to th
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SOURCE JDRF
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