Oyster Point Pharma Announces Preclinical Study Results and Pipeline Expansion with Enriched Tear Film (ETF™) Gene Therapy to Target Ocular Surface Diseases
Excerpt from the Press Release:
PRINCETON, N.J., June 03, 2021 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Oyster Point Pharma, Inc. (Nasdaq: OYST), a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company focused on the discovery, development and commercialization of first-in-class therapies to treat ocular surface diseases, today announced the expansion of its pipeline with the introduction of Enriched Tear Film (ETF™) Gene Therapy and proof-of-concept in vivo study results from its first gene therapy candidate, OC-101.
ETF™ Gene Therapy is a proprietary adeno-associated virus (AAV) based gene therapy approach where a target gene is delivered to human lacrimal gland cells via intralacrimal gland injection. Rather than replacing a gene that is defective or missing, a new target gene is delivered that may potentially produce a selected naturally occurring protein, enzyme, or other therapeutic gene product. The goal for this target gene is to produce a selected gene product to change cell behavior and function on the ocular surface. Oyster Point’s investigational drug, OC-01 (varenicline) nasal spray, a highly selective cholinergic agonist, may play a role in ocular surface diseases treated with ETF™ Gene Therapy through its potential to modulate the secretion of a selected gene product.
In this proof-of-concept in vivo study evaluating OC-101 (AAV-NGF), a single, intralacrimal gland injection of an AAV containing the human NGF (hNGF) gene resulted in statistically significant levels of hNGF protein being expressed within the lacrimal gland and tear film of a rabbit model, as compared to control. hNGF was secreted into the tear film as early as Day 7, after the intralacrimal gland injection. No control animals showed evidence of hNGF in the lacrimal gland or tear film. Additionally, three weeks following OC-101 (AAV-NGF) transduction of the lacrimal gland, cholinergic activation of the lacrimal gland with OC-01 (varenicline) nasal spray resulted in statistically significant increases in hNGF expression in the tear film, as compared to pre-cholinergic stimulation levels and as compared to control. After cessation of OC-01 (varenicline) nasal spray, hNGF tear protein levels returned to pre-cholinergic activation levels (measured at Day 14). During the 42-day study, there were no macroscopic or microscopic safety findings observed associated with the intralacrimal gland administration of OC-101 (AAV-NGF) or OC-01 (varenicline) nasal spray.
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