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BCN Peptides —a company of Lipotec Group dedicated to the production of bioactive peptides for pharmaceutical and veterinary applications— begins the clinical Phase I to assess the safety profile of a new drug for the prevention and early treatment of diabetic retinopathy.

Diabetic retinopathy is the most commonly associated disease with diabetes. It has a worldwide incidence of more than 11.5 million people in Europe, USA and Japan. This pathology is one of the leading causes of blindness in working age people.

Developed and patented by BCN Peptides, the drug BCN070660, is a topical ophthalmologic formulation in monodose eye drops form containing a peptide called somatostatin. This peptide acts as neuroprotective in the early stages of diabetic retinopathy.

The new therapeutic approach for the preventive treatment of diabetic retinopathy has its base on a replacement therapy to restore intraocular physiological levels of somatostatin. Preclinical studies, conducted by BCN Peptides, proved that topical administration of this drug reaches the retina and that is effective in the early stages of the disease.

According to Dr. Berta Ponsati, CEO of BCN Peptides, “The topical ophthalmic administration route can achieve optimal intraocular levels. So there’s no need to administer the drug by systemic route, since it’s difficult to use because of the difficulty of reaching the vitreous humour or by intravitreous route, this is more aggressive route and it is only justified in the advanced stages of the disease. The Doctor, also, adds “The great advantage of our treatment is that is an endogenous product which is physiologically in the retina and that the administration route is aimed directly to the target tissue, avoiding the systemic adverse effects, which makes it a less invasive preventive chronic treatment.

The new drug opens a potential market expectation higher than 3.000 M€.

BCN Peptides began, 3 years ago, the new line of research in collaboration with the Dr. Rafael Simó and Dr. Cristina Hernández from Vall d’Hebron Research Institute as a result of the publications of this group about the somatostatin deficit in the retina of diabetic patients. This deficit is found in both cases with proliferative diabetic retinopathy and in patients with diabetic macular edema. For the clinical Phases II and III it has been created the Eurocondor consortium, coordinated by Dr. Rafael Simó, with renown ophthalmologists and endocrinologists of eight European countries, of CAIBER-ECRIN (the Spanish platform of clinical trials as CRO) and BCN Peptides.

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