OcuNexus Clinical Candidates and Indications


HCB1019 is a novel small molecule which we have identified as a Hemichannel Blocker. The drug product which has been used in several Phase 2 human clinical trials for other conditions, is formulated as capsules for oral administration.

OcuNexus has carried out significant pre-clinical work in models of AMD with both Peptagon™ (Peptide5) and HCB1019. The objective with HCB1019 was to evaluate if its systemic delivery would provide similar results to the administration of Peptagon™ in mitigating the overexpression of Cx43, the open hemichannel release of ATP and subsequent activation of the inflammasome pathway of inflammation. The endpoints to these studies in the animal model of Dry AMD was to determine the effect of HCB1019 in mitigating both functional and structural inducedpathology to the retina as was found with Peptagon™.

Animals exposed to the Bright Light Model of Retinal Damage were evaluated with both intraperitoneal and oral administration of the drug. The results indicate similar effects when systemic administration of HCB1019 is compared to intravitreal Peptagon.  Additionally there was similar efficacy in terms of maintaining visual function and neural retinal structural integrity when comparing intraperitoneal vs oral administration of HCB1019 to the placebo controls which demonstrated significant and protracted loss of visual function and loss of neural retinal tissue when retinal thickness was measured by OCT.