Novel Antibody-based Agonist for Neovascular AMD

Rony Chidiac, PhD Governing Council of the University of Toronto


Stephane Angers, PhD


This project aims to examine the efficacy of a novel synthetic antibody to protect from pathological new blood vessels growth and preserve vision in patients with AMD. We have engineered a novel synthetic antibody modality that protects against aberrant retinal vascular growth in diabetic retinopathy animal models. To translate our antibody towards clinical application for wet AMD or neovascular AMD, we aim to characterize the functional signaling induced by our novel antibody treatment in cellular models of relevance to AMD. Also, we will assess the efficacy of our molecules to promote the formation of healthy blood vessels and normalizing the growth of leaky altered vasculature in animal models mimicking the AMD disease.

Project Details

We developed a novel antibody modality that activates one receptor of the Wnt/ßcatenin signaling pathway and has shown good efficacy in protecting against retinal vascular impairment. These molecules are attractive therapeutic modalities and could be a new class of drugs against pathological leakage of new blood vessels growth during AMD. Our proposed treatment strategy has the potential to not only reduce the burden of AMD disease but to unleash the restorative power of the body’s own cells to repair defective and leaky blood vessels. Thus, our novel antibodies may hold new hopes for the treatment of neovascular AMD (nAMD). This proposal will enable us to advance this therapeutic candidate through preclinical studies and enable our long-time goal of testing our modality in a clinical trial in nAMD patients. Treatment with these antibodies could actively repair the vascular tissue and yield significant improvements in visual acuity or cessation of disease progression.