History: Built on Original Research

Inotek Pharmaceuticals (ticker: ITEK), based in Lexington, MA, is a clinical-stage, publicly traded biopharmaceutical company focused on the discovery, development and commercialization of therapies for ocular diseases, including glaucoma.

The company was founded in 1999 by a group of scientists and clinicians whose original therapeutic focus was acute care medicine and mitigating the cellular damage caused by ischemic-reperfusion injuries. While investigating the cellular signaling pathways that control programmed cell death following these injuries, Inotek scientists discovered that oxidative stress was a part of the process, and that the adenosine pathway plays an important role in protecting the cell.

This work was further supported by concurrent reports in the literature that a specific adenosine subreceptor, the A1 receptor, had effects on the control of intra-ocular pressure as well as neuroprotection. Inotek’s chemists then embarked on a program to create a series of “adenosine mimetics”, molecules that would induce the biological effects associated with specific stimulation of the A1 subreceptor without the undesired biological actions of native adenosine. These efforts led to the discovery of trabodenoson.

In July 2017, the company announced top-line results of its Phase 2 fixed-dose combination trial of trabodenoson and latanoprost for the treatment of glaucoma. The trial did not meet its primary efficacy endpoint, and the company has since discontinued development of trabodenoson in order to focus on evaluating strategic alternatives.