Novel ocular antihypertensive compounds in clinical trials
June Chen1, Stephen A Runyan1, Michael R Robinson2
1Department of Biological Sciences, 2Ophthalmology Clinical Research, Allergan, Inc, Irvine, CA, USA
Introduction: Glaucoma is a multifactorial disease characterized by progressive optic nerve injury and visual field defects. Elevated intraocular pressure (IOP) is the most widely recognized risk factor for the onset and progression of open-angle glaucoma, and IOP-lowering medications comprise the primary treatment strategy. IOP elevation in glaucoma is associated with diminished or obstructed aqueous humor outflow. Pharmacotherapy reduces IOP by suppressing aqueous inflow and/or increasing aqueous outflow.
Purpose: This review focuses on novel non-FDA approved ocular antihypertensive compounds being investigated for IOP reduction in ocular hypertensive and glaucoma patients in active clinical trials within approximately the past 2 years.
Methods: The mode of IOP reduction, pharmacology, efficacy, and safety of these new agents were assessed. Relevant drug efficacy and safety trials were identified from searches of various scientific literature databases and clinical trial registries. Compounds with no specified drug class, insufficient background information, reformulations, and fixed-combinations of marketed drugs were not considered.
Results: The investigational agents identified comprise those that act on the same targets of established drug classes approved by the FDA (ie, prostaglandin analogs and β-adrenergic blockers) as well as agents belonging to novel drug classes with unique mechanisms of action. Novel targets and compounds evaluated in clinical trials include an actin polymerization inhibitor (ie, latrunculin), Rho-associated protein kinase inhibitors, adenosine receptor analogs, an angiotensin II type 1 receptor antagonist, cannabinoid receptor agonists, and a serotonin receptor antagonist.
Conclusion: The clinical value of novel compounds for the treatment of glaucoma will depend ultimately on demonstrating favorable efficacy and benefit-to-risk ratios relative to currently approved prostaglandin analogs and β-blockers and/or having complementary modes of action.
Keywords: intraocular pressure, glaucoma progression, clinical trials, drug development, aqueous humor dynamics, antihypertensive
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