Targeted Agent for Eye Diseases
In preclinical studies, topical ophthalmic and systemic delivery of elamipretide have produced favorable effects in both retinal and corneal diseases. In addition, elamipretide may effectively address the mitochondria-associated defects in diseases such as diabetic macular edema, Fuchs Endothelial Corneal Dystrophy, genetic mitochondrial optic neuropathies (such as Leber’s Hereditary Optic Neuropathy) and age-related macular degeneration. 17 Patients suffering from each of these disorders have been studied in Stealth’s clinical trials.
Elamipretide has been studied in patients with diabetic macular edema.48 Elamipretide will be studied in retinal diseases including mitochondrial optic neuropathies such as Leber’s Hereditary Optic Neuropathy and dry age related macular degeneration, as well as in corneal dystrophies including Fuchs Corneal Endothelial Dystrophy.
Leber’s Hereditary Optic Neuropathy
Data suggest that elamipretide has potential for treating Leber’s Hereditary Optic Neuropathy (LHON), an inherited mitochondrial disease that results in sudden and profound loss of vision in both eyes of patients, typically beginning before age 40. Each year 100 people in the U.S. suffer from central vision loss due to LHON and approximately 35,000 people worldwide have been diagnosed with LHON.28,33
Age-Related Macular Degeneration
Age-related macular degeneration (AMD) is a common eye condition and a leading cause of vision loss among people over the age of 50. AMD causes damage to the macula, the part of the eye needed for sharp, central vision. This is the most sensitive part of the retina, which is located in the back of the eye. AMD is characterized by the presence of deposits of acellular debris between the retinal pigment epithelium and Bruch’s membrane, which are called drusen. As AMD progresses, a blurred area commonly develops near the center of vision. Over time, the area may grow larger or blank spots may develop.16,17
Fuchs’ Corneal Endothelial Dystrophy
Fuchs’ is a late-onset, progressive disease of the cornea characterized by a reduction of endothelial cells, and can lead to edema or even blindness in more advanced cases. Elamipretide targets the inner mitochondrial membrane to help preserve mitochondrial energetics, loss of which is thought to lead to the onset of Fuchs’.
Diabetic Macular Edema
Diabetic macular edema (DME) occurs when fluid leaks into the center of the macula, the part of the eye where sharp, central vision occurs. This fluid makes the macula, the point of central vision in the retina, swell, thereby blurring vision. There are approximately 21 million individuals with DME worldwide. DME occurs in about half of people with diabetes who have proliferative retinopathy, a progressive condition that can cause fragile blood vessels to leak into the eye, leading to vision loss and blindness. 32,47
Elamipretide in Clinical Trials
For more information about clinical trials, visit www.clinicaltrials.gov and search “Stealth BioTherapeutics.”