Currently available treatments for ocular neovascular diseases such as wet age-related macular degeneration (AMD) involve intravitreal injections to the eye. Both patients and doctors desire less frequent injections into the eye to deliver such therapeutics. A possible strategy is the use of gene delivery systems to achieve sustained production of therapeutic proteins in the eye over a period of several months.
GenVec researchers compared the duration of expression in the eye of two different adenovectors, Ad5 and Ad35. The results showed sustained protein expression beyond 4 months in eyes treated with the Ad35 vector. With the Ad5 vector, expression diminished substantially by day 7. These results indicate that changes in the adenovector can lead to potentially important advantages in the delivery of proteins. In the case of AMD, less frequent drug administration would be of clear benefit to patients.
"It is now clear that delivery of anti-angiogenic agents to the eye can be effective in treating AMD by blocking abnormal blood vessel formation," stated Dr. Wei. "Our studies reported today demonstrated delivery of PEDF, a potent factor capable of both blocking and reversing animal models of AMD. We believe that sustained delivery of other therapeutic proteins to the eye should be possible using this technology."
AMD affects almost thirty percent of adults between the ages of 75 an d 85. New therapies to treat AMD have demonstrated benefit but these therapies must be injected every four to six weeks. GenVec believes its gene transfer approach may provide an effective and more convenient treatment for AMD.
GenVec, Inc. is a biopharmaceutical company developing novel gene-based therapeutic drugs and vaccines. Each of the Company's product candidates uses patent-protected technology to deliver genes that produce beneficial proteins. GenVec's lead product, TNFerade(TM) is currently in a pivotal Phase II/III study (PACT) in locally advanced pancreatic cancer; Phase II studies are in progress in rectal cancer and melanoma; and Phase I/II studies are in progress in head and neck cancer. GenVec also uses its proprietary adenovector technology to develop vaccines for infectious diseases including HIV, malaria, foot-and-mouth disease (FMD), respiratory syncytial virus (RSV), and seasonal and pandemic flu. Additional information about GenVec is available at www.genvec.com and in the Company's various filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission.
Statements herein relating to future financial or business performance, conditions or strategies and other financial and business matters, including expectations regarding future revenues and operating expenses, are forward-looking statements within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act. GenVec cautions that these forward-looking statements are subject to numerous assumptions, risks and uncertainties, which change over time. Factors that may cause actual results to differ materially from the results discussed in the forward-looking statements or historical experience include risks and uncertainties, including the failure by GenVec to secure and maintain relationships with collaborators; risks relating to the early stage of GenVec's product candidates under development; uncertainties relating to clinical trials; risks relating to the commercialization, if any, of GenVec's proposed product candidates; dependence on the efforts of third parties; dependence on intellectual property; and risks that we may lack the financial resources and access to capital to fund our operations. Further information on the factors and risks that could affect GenVec's business, financial conditions and results of operations, are contained in GenVec's filings with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), which are available at www.sec.gov. These forward-looking statements speak only as of the date of this press release, and GenVec assumes no duty to update forward-looking statements.
Sharon L. Weinstein
Director, Investor Relations and Corporate Communications