Heparin-binding VEGFR1 variants as long-acting VEGF inhibitors for treatment of intraocular neovascular disorders.

Published on May 25, 2021in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America9.412
· DOI :10.1073/PNAS.1921252118
Hong Xin2
Estimated H-index: 2
(UCSD: University of California, San Diego),
Nilima Biswas16
Estimated H-index: 16
(UCSD: University of California, San Diego)
+ 4 AuthorsNapoleone Ferrara179
Estimated H-index: 179
(UCSD: University of California, San Diego)
Sources
Abstract
Neovascularization is a key feature of ischemic retinal diseases and the wet form of age-related macular degeneration (AMD), all leading causes of severe vision loss. Vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) inhibitors have transformed the treatment of these disorders. Millions of patients have been treated with these drugs worldwide. However, in real-life clinical settings, many patients do not experience the same degree of benefit observed in clinical trials, in part because they receive fewer anti-VEGF injections. Therefore, there is an urgent need to discover and identify novel long-acting VEGF inhibitors. We hypothesized that binding to heparan-sulfate proteoglycans (HSPG) in the vitreous, and possibly other ocular structures, may be a strategy to promote intraocular retention, ultimately leading to a reduced burden of intravitreal injections. We designed a series of VEGF receptor 1 variants and identified some with strong heparin-binding characteristics and ability to bind to vitreous matrix. Our data indicate that some of our variants have longer duration and greater efficacy in animal models of intraocular neovascularization than current standard of care. Our study represents a systematic attempt to exploit the functional diversity associated with heparin affinity of a VEGF receptor.
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Vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF)–neutralizing proteins provide benefit in several retinal and choroidal vascular diseases, but some patients still experience suboptimal outcomes, and the need for frequent intraocular injections is a barrier to good outcomes. A mimetic peptide derived from collagen IV, AXT107, suppressed subretinal neovascularization (NV) in two mouse models predictive of effects in neovascular age-related macular degeneration (NVAMD) and inhibited retinal NV in a model ...
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Abstract Anti‐angiogenic therapies using biological molecules that neutralize vascular endothelial growth factor‐A (VEGF‐A) have revolutionized treatment of retinal vascular diseases including age‐related macular degeneration (AMD). This study reports preclinical assessment of a strategy to enhance anti‐VEGF‐A monotherapy efficacy by targeting both VEGF‐A and angiopoietin‐2 (ANG‐2), a factor strongly upregulated in vitreous fluids of patients with retinal vascular disease and exerting some of it...
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