About Aganirsen Antisense Oligonucleotide
Gene Signal is a biotechnology research and development company developing Aganirsen (GS-101), an antisense oligonucleotide or short DNA strand. Aganirsen is a copy of a naturally occurring human gene and acts by inhibiting the expression of IRS-1 (insulin receptor substrate 1), a protein required for the formation and growth of new blood vessels. By blocking the expression of this protein in pro-angiogenic, it has the ability to inhibit unwanted angiogenesis, which interferes with vision and is associated with many eye diseases.
Figure: Aganirsen Mechanism of Action
Aganirsen is a topical medication in the form of eye drops or eye emulsion (similar, but more viscose than eye drops) which is currently being developed for the management of excessive vascular growth in the eye, also known as “neovascularisation”
Figure: Aganirsen is being developed as Eye Drops and Eye Emulsion, without the need for injection
Ophthalmic diseases associated with unwanted angiogenesis include neovascular age related macular degeneration (AMD, also known as “wet” AMD), diabetic macular edema, diabetic retinopathy, and corneal neovascularisation, which may lead to graft rejection in graft patients.
The medications that are in use today to treat unwanted ocular vascular growth have to be injected by an ophthalmologist intravitreally, or into the aqueous humour of the eye.
Figure: Approved medications for the reduction of unwanted ophthalmic vascular growth have to be injected intravitreally
Thanks to its novel mechanism of action, and because Aganirsen is a small biological molecule, Aganirsen can be administered topically, withouth the need for intravitreal injections depending on the indication.
About Gene Signal, the Aganirsen developer
Gene Signal is a French and Swiss-based biotechnology company pioneering the development of innovative therapies for angiogenesis-based diseases. Gene Signal is developing oligonucleotides, proteins and monoclonal antibodies, which are derived from genes that are exclusively involved in the angiogenesis process. The company is working on eleven indications in ophthalmology, dermatology, vascular disorders and cancer.
Gene Signal’s lead compound, Aganirsen (GS-101), an antisense DNA oligonucleotide, completed in 2013 a European Phase III trial for the treatment of neovascular-associated corneal graft rejection. Aganirsen is the beneficiary of an EU grant for the Phase II/III STRONG trial for the orphan indication neovascular glaucoma. The compound is also being prepared for Phase II trials in age-related macular degeneration, diabetic macular oedema, and psoriasis.
Gene Signal’s discovery program leverages a patented discovery platform, GENE-MAAP, which streamlines the identification process of genes exclusively involved in the regulation of angiogenesis, resulting in the identification and patenting of more than 94 such genes.
The company was founded in 2000, is privately owned, and is led by a team of highly qualified scientific and commercial talents. Its headquarters are in Lausanne (EPFL Swiss Federal Institute of Technology), Switzerland, with research programs based in France (BioparcGenopole, Evry) and product development in Canada (Montreal).
For more info: www.genesignal.com