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KDDF-201202-10 Development of a global drug candidate for blindness diseases targeting necroptosis(Others, Chemical) [01.04.2013]


Development and Market Objectives

To address unmet needs in blindness diseases, we aim to develop a novel drug candidate for neuroprotection that inhibits programmed necrosis. It will be administered as an eye-drop formula to avoiding the existing discomforts associated with intravitreous injection

Unmet Medical Need & Target Patients

Our objective is to develop a treatment for the world's top three blindness diseases (macular degeneration, diabetic retinopathy and glaucoma), which have seen a rapid increase in the number of cases. This can be attributable to ageing populations, increased prevalence of adult diseases and higher use of electronic equipment such as smart phones and computers. 

As of 2007, patients with blindness diseases approximate 2.9 billion people, accounting for approximately 40% of the world's population). Current studies show a continued trend projected to reach 3.3 billion people by 2020.

The projected numbers for disease-specific patients in 2020 are: 100 million for macular degeneration, 150 million for diabetic retinopathy and 80 million for glaucoma. 

Macular degeneration is a disease in which the nerve system (macula) located in the center of the retina is transformed for various reasons. Diabetic retinopathy, the most common diabetic eye disease, can cause blindness by damaging the microvessels in the retina. Glaucoma is a disease in which vision is narrowed by damage to the optic nerve as a result of increased intraocular pressure. 

Currently available treatments for retinal diseases in market are limited, as the programmed cell death of damaged optic nerves is difficult to reverse, and treatments must be injected into the eye. Treatments for glaucoma can delay damage to the optic nerve by decreasing high intraocular pressure, but cannot prevent the eventual death of the optic nerve. For these reasons, novel treatment methods with improved convenience and superior neuroprotective mechanisms are needed.


- We have identified a lead compound that targets an essential factor of programmed cell necrosis (necroptosis).
- The lead compound has exhibits excellent retinal permeability, druggability and protective effects in three rat models of blindness diseases. 
- We are on track to develop an excellent drug candidate for the top three blindness diseases in 2014 through additional optimization work.

Intellectual Property

Patent application will begin in 2013.

Competitive Advantages

The distinct development strategies for our research are as follows:
- New molecular entity: Developing an innovative drug with a novel scaffold
- Ocular neuroprotection: Next-generation neuroprotective mechanism
- Eye drop formula: Developing a more convenient, more effective and cost-effective medicine.
- Excellent efficacy: Superior efficacy to competitors


Macular Degeneration

Research Period

Jun. 1st, 2012 to Sep. 30th, 2014


Chungnam National Univ.

Developmental Stage

Lead, Candidate, and PreClinical

Additional Information

Contact Information

Address Company Name: Chungnam National University
WebSite Homepage: Contact Person: Eunhee Kim, Professor
E-mail: Contact: +82-42-821-5495

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