PALM BEACH GARDENS, FL--(Marketwire - November 12, 2010) - Eyetech Inc., an independent, employee-owned and operated biotechnology company dedicated exclusively to the treatment of sight-threatening diseases of the retina, has been awarded a grant in the amount of $245,000 under the U.S. Government's Qualifying Therapeutic Discovery Project (QTDP) program. The grant will be used to support the development of an extended-release formulation of Macugen® (pegaptanib sodium injection) using microparticles technology.
"Eyetech is pleased to receive this QTDP grant recognizing the potential of our drug development program," said Steven Bettis, president, Eyetech Inc. "These non-dilutive funds will contribute to our efforts to develop an extended-release formulation of Macugen."
As previously announced, Eyetech is collaborating with SurModics Pharmaceuticals, Inc., a leading drug delivery company, to develop the extended-release version of Macugen under a licensing and development agreement that was signed in 2005. Macugen, a selective inhibitor of VEGF-165, is approved for the treatment of neovascular age-related macular degeneration (neovascular AMD). The goal of the Macugen extended-release formulation is to decrease the frequency of dosing from every six weeks to every four to six months.
The Qualifying Therapeutic Discovery Project program was created by Congress under Section 48D of the Internal Revenue Code, enacted as part of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act of 2010. It established criteria by which companies with 250 or fewer employees could apply to be certified for either a tax credit or grant up to specified limits for tax years 2009 and 2010. The QTDP program awarded grants for projects with reasonable potential to:
- Result in new therapies to treat areas of unmet medical need
- Prevent, detect or treat chronic or acute diseases and conditions
- Reduce the long-term growth of health care costs in the United States
- Create and sustain high quality jobs
- Advance U.S. competitiveness in the fields of life sciences, biological and medical sciences
Macugen, a selective inhibitor of VEGF-165, is indicated in the United States for the treatment of neovascular age-related macular degeneration (neovascular AMD) and is administered in a 0.3-mg dose once every six weeks by intravitreal injection. Macugen is a pegylated anti-VEGF aptamer, which binds to vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF). VEGF is a protein that plays a critical role in angiogenesis (the formation of new blood vessels) and increased permeability (leakage from blood vessels), two pathological processes that contribute to the vision loss associated with neovascular AMD.
Eyetech Inc. markets and sells Macugen in the United States and Pfizer Inc. markets and sells Macugen outside of the United States. Eyetech Inc. has the worldwide rights to the Macugen Microparticles program. For full prescribing information about Macugen, please visit http://www.macugen.com/.
Important Safety Information
Macugen is contraindicated in patients with ocular or periocular infections or with known hypersensitivity to pegaptanib sodium or any product components. Safety or efficacy of Macugen beyond 2 years has not been demonstrated. Increases in IOP have been seen within 30 minutes of injection with Macugen. Rare cases of anaphylaxis/anaphylactoid reactions, including angioedema, have been reported in postmarketing experience following the intravitreal administration procedure. Serious adverse events related to the injection procedure occurring in < 1% of intravitreal injections included endophthalmitis, retinal detachment, and iatrogenic traumatic cataract. Most frequently reported adverse events in 10%-40% of patients treated for up to 2 years were anterior chamber inflammation, blurred vision, cataract, conjunctival hemorrhage, corneal edema, eye discharge, eye irritation, eye pain, hypertension, increased IOP, ocular discomfort, punctate keratitis, reduced visual acuity, visual disturbance, vitreous floaters, and vitreous opacities.
Please see full Prescribing Information.
About Eyetech Inc.
Eyetech Inc. is an independent, employee-owned and operated biotechnology company dedicated exclusively to the treatment of sight-threatening diseases of the retina. For additional information about Eyetech, please visit www.eyetech.com.