Inotek Pharmaceuticals Announces Study Results Demonstrating Neuroprotective Properties of Trabodenoson, its Lead Drug Candidate for Glaucoma

Inotek Pharmaceuticals Inc., a leader in the development of innovative products for the treatment of glaucoma, today announced the results from a preclinical study demonstrating the ability of trabodenoson, an adenosine A1 mimetic in development for glaucoma, to protect against the loss of retinal ganglion cells in an acute high-ocular-pressure animal model of glaucoma. Retinal ganglion cells are the part of the nervous system responsible for relaying the visual image from the eye to the brain, and their death is what causes the irreversible vision loss associated with glaucoma. The results of this study were presented this month at the 2014 annual meeting of the Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology (ARVO).

This preclinical neuroprotection study was designed to compare the protective effects of trabodenoson and brimonidine against vehicle in a rat model of ischemia-induced retinal ganglion cell (RGC) death. Trabodenoson was delivered as an eye drop at a clinically relevant dose. Results of the study showed that trabodenoson provided 100% protection against the thinning of the ganglion cell layer (p<0.001 compared to vehicle-treated eyes).

“These data are both encouraging and consistent with the known effects of naturally occurring or endogenous adenosine in central nervous system tissue where it is well known to be neuroprotective”, said William McVicar, Ph.D., Inotek’s Chief Scientific Officer. “Adenosine’s protective effects have been attributed to its action at a specific receptor on cells – the adenosine A1 receptor – which is potently and selectively targeted by trabodenoson. Further, adenosine A1 receptors are found in retinal ganglion cells, providing a strong rationale for the drug’s ability to specifically protect this critical population of retinal cells.”

The study was completed in the laboratory of Leonard A. Levin, MD, PhD, at the University of Wisconsin in Madison. Dr. Levin, Chairman of the Department of Ophthalmology at McGill University in Montreal and a member of Inotek’s Scientific Advisory Board, commented, “These findings are very encouraging. Trabodenoson could have the potential to directly protect retinal ganglion cells, and thus slowing or preventing the optic nerve neuropathy that is the root cause of glaucomatous vision loss.”