Skip to main content
Premium Trial:

Request an Annual Quote

RXi Data Shows Anti-Scarring Drug Active in Non-human Primate Eyes

Premium

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb) – RXi Pharmaceuticals last week announced positive preclinical data from a program exploring the use of its anti-scarring drug candidate RXI-109 in ophthalmic conditions, showing that intravitreal injection of the agent cut levels of its target protein in the eyes of non-human primates.

RXI-109 comprises siRNAs designed to inhibit connective tissue growth factor, or CTGF, a protein linked to wound healing and other fibrotic processes. It employs the company's proprietary self-delivering technology, which enables cellular uptake without the need for a delivery vehicle.

Although the drug is already in the clinic as treatment for dermal scarring — RXi last year kicked off a Phase II trial in patients with hypertrophic scars and recently began another in patients undergoing keloid removal — it is also under evaluation for use in preventing retinal and corneal scarring.

To that end, RXi conducted a dose range-finding study in cynomolgus monkeys. After the animals received intravitreal injections of RXI-109, whole eye sections were collected and analyzed, showing dose-dependent reductions of CTGF in both the retinas and corneas.

"This finding opens up an avenue to possibly develop topical forms of RXI-109 to combat corneal scarring which often occurs secondary to trauma or infection and can lead to visual impairment, including blindness," RXi President and CEO Geert Cauwenbergh said in a statement.

The Scan

More Boosters for US

Following US Food and Drug Administration authorization, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has endorsed booster doses of the Moderna and Johnson & Johnson SARS-CoV-2 vaccines, the Washington Post writes.

From a Pig

A genetically modified pig kidney was transplanted into a human without triggering an immune response, Reuters reports.

For Privacy's Sake

Wired reports that more US states are passing genetic privacy laws.

Science Paper on How Poaching Drove Evolution in African Elephants

In Science this week: poaching has led to the rapid evolution of tuskless African elephants.