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OptiKira Therapy Shows Promise in Preventing Retinal Degeneration


By: Erin Reese

This past May, OptiKira, a biotech start-up formed in 2015 by BioMotiv, announced that it had achieved a significant proof-of-principle milestone in a compound it is developing for use in a variety of diseases, including retinitis pigmentosa, type I diabetes, idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF), amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), and immuno-oncology.

OptiKira announced findings that its compounds, which inhibit the unfolded protein response (UPR), are the most highly potent and selective known inhibitors of IRE1α, an enzyme responsible for pathogenic UPR and cell destruction. These agents significantly slowed the progression of retinitis pigmentosa, providing protection from degeneration of the retina when tested in a representative genetic model of the disease at Charles River Laboratories.

Retinitis pigmentosa is a rare, genetic disorder that causes the breakdown and loss of cells in the retina, resulting in progressive loss of vision. OptiKira’s research team discovered that, by targeting the UPR and regulating its activity to favor an adaptive rather than destructive pathway, cell death and degeneration is prevented not only in retinitis pigmentosa, but in a variety of other diseases.

Interested in learning more? Visit the OptiKira website:

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