Age-related macular degeneration (AMD) is a progressive retinal disease of aging. With high global prevalence (8.7%), AMD is the leading cause of blindness in people >55 yr age1. Global forecasts predict ~196 million cases in 2020, increasing to 288 million in 2040 as populations age1. While there are treatments available for wet AMD, this represents only a minority of cases (10-15%). Dry AMD comprises the majority of AMD cases (85-90%) and has no approved therapies.
AMD pathology is characterized by progressive accumulation of drusen in the macular region. Drusen are composed of cholesterol-rich lipoproteins secreted by retinal pigment epithelium (RPE), creating an atherosclerosis-like condition in the sub-RPE space. Drusen disrupt and stress RPE cells, which leads to complement activation, retinal degeneration (geographic atrophy) and in more advanced stages, growth of new blood vessels (neovascularization) that further compromises retinal function.
Clover Therapeutics has a growing pipeline of therapeutic candidates with strong human genetics support for the treatment of AMD:
We generate and analyze detailed clinico-genomic data to discover drug targets and select patients for treatment. Our clinical pipeline consists of two observational genetics studies which will genotype and sequence >5,000 AMD patients.
In the DIVERSITY study, whole genome sequences of AMD cases and controls of non-caucasians will be analyzed to discover novel genetic variants that affect AMD risk.
In the PROGRESSION study, the genotypes of patients with opposing genetic risk and disease progression are analyzed for novel genetic variants that modify disease progression.
Data obtained from studies will be used to inform novel drug target discovery and genetics-based patient selection for clinical development.
1 PMID 25104651