CAMBRIDGE, Mass.—(BUSINESS WIRE)—Gemini Therapeutics, a clinical stage precision medicine company developing innovative treatments for dry Age-related Macular Degeneration (AMD) and linked ocular disorders, today announced a collaboration with the Singapore Eye Research Institute (SERI) to expand knowledge and identify new targets associated with AMD.
Under the terms of the agreement, SERI and Gemini will explore the link between genetic and potential biomarkers in patients diagnosed with polypoidal choroidal vasculopathy (PCV). This approach will leverage Gemini’s experience using precision medicine to develop potential therapeutics for genetically defined patient populations. Gemini will use this information to increase its understanding of the links between genetic variants, the impact on the expression of specific genes, and the diagnosis of PCV. PCV and AMD are related diseases, and there are shared genetic causes between the two conditions. This collaboration will inform future development of more targeted therapies for both conditions.
Talking about the collaboration, Prof Gemmy Cheung, who heads AMD research at SERI said, “Polypoidal choroidal vasculopathy represents a significant proportion of patients with neovascular AMD, especially in Asia. Currently there are limited or no specific treatment options for PCV. Exploring the molecular impact of specific genes linked to PCV in this SERI-Gemini collaboration will provide important new information towards designing innovative therapies in future. We are very excited indeed.”
“Our collaboration with SERI is an important extension of the work we’re doing at Gemini to increase understanding and improve the treatment of AMD. As we progress our current clinical program of GEM103, a recombinant Complement Factor H therapy, in dry AMD, expanding our understanding of related ocular diseases and taking a genetic starting point to develop therapeutic options for those patients is a natural next step,” said Jason Meyenburg, Chief Executive Officer of Gemini. “SERI is one of the foremost centers for the study of major eye diseases in the world and we are thrilled to collaborate with them on this important project.”
Polypoidal choroidal vasculopathy (PCV) is a disease affecting the blood vessels in the choroid which supports the retina. Abnormal branching of the blood vessels in the choroid results in aneurysms known as polyps, which can cause leakage of blood and fluid under the retina, causing elevations in the retina and substructures. Patients with PCV may eventually experience irreversible central vision loss in one or both eyes. PCV has a prevalence of between 23 and 54% in Asian populations diagnosed with AMD. In Caucasian populations between 4 and 10% of patients diagnosed with AMD and the genetic basis of the condition is being explored. Current treatments for PCV can involve laser or intravitreal injections, but the response is variable and the preferred treatment for PCV remains unclear.
Singapore Eye Research Institute
Singapore Eye Research Institute (SERI) is Singapore’s national research institute for ophthalmic and vision research. It is the research arm of Singapore National Eye Centre, and has close working relationships with A*STAR Research Institutes, Nanyang Technological University and other biomedical institutions and eye centers in Singapore and throughout the world. SERI’s national mandate drives the organization to constantly explore areas of synergy, and opportunities for multidisciplinary collaborative research partnerships with various public healthcare eye institutes, and biomedical research institutions. Since its establishment in 1997, SERI has grown to become one of the largest research institutes in Singapore and the largest eye research institute in the Asia-Pacific. As of September 2019, SERI has amassed an impressive array of publications amounting to more than 3,700 scientific papers, and has secured more than 340 external peer-reviewed competitive grants. SERI’s faculty has been awarded with more than 610 national and international prizes and filed more than 130 patents. As a non-profit entity that is heavily reliant on competitive grants as the main source of funding, SERI has always adopted a lean and optimal approach in fund utilization via leveraging on shared resources to support our research projects. More info at www.snec.com.sg/research-innovation.
Gemini Therapeutics is a clinical stage precision medicine company developing innovative treatments for age-related macular degeneration (AMD) and linked ocular disorders that are matched to molecular abnormalities found in patients with high clinical unmet need. The company has generated a rich pipeline including recombinant proteins, monoclonal antibodies, and gene therapies. Gemini’s CLARITY natural history study is designed to provide unprecedented insight into the role of genetic risk in common retinal diseases and began in December 2018. Gemini was launched with funding from leading life science investors and powered by academic partnerships globally.
For more information, visit www.geminitherapeutics.com.
Singapore Eye Research Institute