iTherapeuticsiTherapeutics is a biotechnology company specializing in the development of novel RNAi-based therapies to treat the wet form of age-related macular degeneration (AMD), a $1.8 billion market in 2010. Founded upon a breakthrough discovery by the scientists at the nation’s leading ophthalmologic research institution, iTherapeutics has identified major gene target candidates responsible for AMD. While continuing to build its patent portfolio, iTherapeutics also is raising capital to complete the pre-clinical development and launch clinical trials to commercialize its novel RNAi-based drugs for treatment of AMD.
AMD is the leading cause of vision loss in people (age >65). The prevalence of wet AMD and/or geographic atrophy increases dramatically with age. About 1.5% of the US population over 40 years of age (approx. 1.7 million) is estimated to have wet AMD. Due to the rapidly aging population, US patient projections are 1.8 million in 2010 and 2.9 million in 2020. This trend raises a serious public health concern as the disease is particularly complex and challenging. Laser therapy and photodynamic therapy can only treat some forms of wet AMD (20% of cases). The current standard of care (Lucentis) costs $2000/therapy and requires a needle injection into the eye every 3-6 weeks.