Alimera Sciences is focused on the potential use of NADPH oxidase inhibitors to treat dry AMD, particularly the late stage of this condition known as geographic atrophy. Additional testing on the use of NADPH oxidase inhibitors will be conducted to treat other diseases of the eye, including wet AMD and diabetic retinopathy.
Reactive Oxygen Species and NADPH Oxidase Inhibitors
Oxidative stress is a condition where excess reactive oxygen intermediates, generally referred to as reactive oxygen species (ROS) accumulate. The production of ROS is not always pathogenic. However, many researchers believe that when the level of ROS becomes excessive, pathogenic processes are initiated, resulting in diseased tissue. We believe that the management of oxidative stress is an important strategy in managing the development and progression of diseases of the eye, and we believe that NADPH oxidase inhibitors have the potential to manage oxidative stress.
NADPH oxidase was identified as the first enzyme system to generate ROS as its primary function. NADPH oxidase has been identified in almost every tissue type, and a significant amount of scientific literature associates NADPH oxidase activation with many systemic and ocular conditions. In pre-clinical animal models, the inhibition of NADPH oxidase has been shown to prevent or slow pathology in various models of ocular disease, including retinal degeneration, retinal neovascularization, choroidal neovascularization and uveitis. In addition, the presence of NADPH oxidase in corneal epithelial cells implicates it as having a possible role in dry eye, and the activation of NADPH oxidase in certain pollen grains upon hydration implicates its role in allergic conjunctivitis.