Novel Drugs for the Treatment of Optic Nerve Disease

A small molecule library was screened using an RGC cell culture system for novel factors that promote RGC survival and outgrowth. Five novel compounds have been identified that promote the development of neuritis and/or survival of cultures of retinal ganglion cells. These compounds are beneficial in the treatment of a variety of optic nerve disease including glaucoma, optic neuritis, and ischemic optic neuropathy. Problem Solved/Background Retinal ganglion cells (RGC) are the projections neurons of the eye, with their axons extending along the inner retina to the optic nerve. The human optic nerve is composed of over one million RGC axons. RGC axons may be injured by a number of disease processes which result in axonal degeneration, apoptosis of RGCs, and irreversible vision loss. Presently, there are no drugs available for the direct ?neuroprotective? treatment of the optic nerve. Rather therapeutic interventions for optic disease remove or mitigate the insult. Description (Set) Proposed Use (Set) This technology offers new molecules for the investigation of RGC survival and neurite outgrowth, and may also provide clues for the development of novel therapies for patients with diseases of the optic nerve.

Inventor(s): Kerrison, John Barnwell

Type of Offer: Licensing

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