Another US patent for Opthea's VEGFR-3 ‘trap’

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Opthea Limited, a developer of novel biologic therapies for the treatment of eye diseases, has announced it has received a Notice of Allowance from the US Patent and Trade Mark Office (USPTO) for the company’s Patent Application No. 14/768,701 for its OPT- 302 soluble VEGFR-3 ‘trap’ molecule.

Opthea said it anticipates the patent will be granted in the second half of 2017.

According to the company, the term of the resulting patent will extend to February 2034 and cover OPT-302 and its use to treat disorders, involving neovascularisation, including eye diseases such are wet age-related macular degeneration (wet AMD) and diabetic macular edema (DME).

Corresponding patent applications are pending in 17 other countries, with the patent having already been granted in South Africa, it said.

"The Company’s existing IP portfolio includes granted composition of matter patents in the U.S. extending to 2026, and corresponding granted patents in Europe, Canada, Japan and Australia extending to 2022. In addition, a method of use patent covering sVEGFR-3 has been granted in the U.S. which extends to 2023," it said.

"The allowance of this patent further exemplifies Opthea’s novel approach to target VEGF-C and VEGF-D. This approach is differentiated from existing VEGF-A inhibitors that are approved therapies for wet AMD and DME. In addition to extending the patent life covering OPT-302, it also includes broad methods of use claims for OPT-302 administered alone or in combination for disorders associated with neovascularisation. These include a number of eye diseases for which there continues to be substantial unmet medical needs,” said Dr Megan Baldwin, CEO of Opthea.

Opthea has announced plans to initiate an approximately 350 patient Phase 2B wet AMD clinical trial, as well as additional Phase 2A clinical studies in DME and wet AMD patients who have been previously treated with anti-VEGF-A therapy and experienced a sub-optimal clinical response.

"Opthea plans to initiate patient recruitment into the Phase 2B wet AMD and Phase 2A clinical trials in 2H 2017," it said.