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An Experimental Treatment For Diabetic Complications

Did you know that about 422 million people worldwide have diabetes? According to the World Health Organization (WHO), this indicates that diabetic macular edema (DME), a common complication of diabetic retinopathy and one of the leading causes of visual impairment and blindness among patients with diabetes, is expected to remain as a global threat to vision. This eye condition results from fluid leaks and disruption in the macula, which is a part of the eye that helps the retina focus. Without effective treatment, diabetic macular edema can result in various vision related issues such as blurred or spotty vision, decreased ability to read or recognize people's faces and colours, alongside complete blindness in serious situations. As a result, these consequences can have significant impacts on a person's quality of life, which prompts the question of what treatments are available for patients with diabetic macular edema.


While there are numerous treatment options available for diabetic macular edema, there may be a more effective solution on the horizon with a new experimental treatment named UBX1235. This treatment envisions targeting various miRNAs and ensures life-long safety and efficacy compared to the treatments practiced today. Currently, the most prevalent treatments for diabetic macular edema are frequent intravitreal injections and VEGF inhibitors. However, they both could present fibrosis complications, tractive retinal detachment, and neurodegeneration, which can result in persistent visual disturbances, such as distorted vision and loss of visual acuity, and ultimately eliminating or diminishing a patient's ability to lead a regular life after treatment.


On the contrary, UBX1235 gives hope for diabetic macular edema patients as it aims to address the complications and drawbacks of the traditional treatment of diabetic macular edema. For example, a study spearheaded by UdeM ophthalmology professor Przemyslaw (Mike) Sapieha and his team focuses on the development and testing of the drug UBX1325, also known as Foselutoclax. According to the results of the investigation, patients experienced maintained improvements in vision for at least six months post- injection. This amazing outcome of the absence of significant side effects for a long period highlights the transformative potential of UBX1325 in revolutionising diabetic macular edema treatment paradigms, alongside the safety profile of this new treatment approach


By all counts, UBX1325 is a crucial development in the field of ophthalmology and a ray of hope for millions a



ffected by diabetic retinopathy worldwide. As the Phase 2 trial progresses, further insights into the therapeutic potential of UBX1325 are eagerly anticipated. With the prevalence of diabetic retinopathy on the rise, it emphasizes the importance of joint research endeavors in developing and improving solutions in addressing eye conditions.

 

Sources:

Hutton, David. “Unity provides Phase 1 study data for UBX1325." Ophthalmology Times, 14 February 2022, https://www.ophthalmologytimes.com/view/unity-provides-phase-1-study-data-for-ubx1325. "New eye drug may someday help diabetic patients." UdeMNouvelles, 6 February 2024, https://nouvelles.umontreal.ca/en/article/2024/02/06/new-eye-drug-may-someday-help-diabetic-patients/. "UNITY Biotechnology Announces Positive 24-Week Data from Phase 2 BEHOLD Study of UBX1325 in Patients with Diabetic Macular Edema." Unity Biotechnology, 1 November 2022, https://ir.unitybiotechnology.com/news-releases/news-release-details/unity-biotechnology-announces-positive-24-week-data-phase-2.



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