Aequus Strengthens Clinical Experience in Stargardt Disease with Pediatric Ophthalmology Expertise

Wednesday, 25. August 2021 14:00

VANCOUVER, British Columbia, Aug. 25, 2021 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Aequus Pharmaceuticals Inc. (TSX-V: AQS, OTCQB: AQSZF) (“Aequus”) a speciality pharmaceutical company, is pleased to announce that Dr. Robert K. Koenekoop MD, MSc, PhD, FRCS(C), FARVO has joined as a medical and clinical consultant to Aequus on inherited retinal diseases, and specifically to support Aequus’ collaboration announced July 17, 2021 with reVision Therapeutics, Inc. for the product REV-0100, a potential therapy for Stargardt disease. 

Dr. Koenekoop is a Pediatric Ophthalmologist and Director of Pediatric Ophthalmology and Molecular Biology of Blindness at the Montreal Children's Hospital (MCH). He also holds positions as Professor of Paediatric Surgery, Human Genetics and Adult Ophthalmology at McGill University and Director of the Laboratory for Retinal Genetics and Therapeutics, and Chief of Paediatric Ophthalmology at MCH Glen site. 

Dr. Koenekoop brings over 25 years of national and international basic and clinical research expertise in ophthalmology, in both children and adults. With Dr. Koenekoop’s expert background and medical practice in Canada for inherited retinal diseases, his valuable insights will help the REV-0100 programme move forward.

“Stargardt macular dystrophy and all the other inherited retinal degenerations were deemed untreatable by the discoverers of these diseases and many generations of clinical teachers and researchers in this field,” said Dr. Koenekoop. “It is very exciting after all these years of seeing patients’ vision decline, that now for the first time we are seeing stabilization and even improvements in vision with some of the experimental agents. I am thrilled that Aequus has made this decision to collaborate on studying REV-0100 safety and efficacy in patients”. 

REV-0100 is a potential therapy for patients with Stargardt disease that is designed to bind and clear a toxic lipid called lipofuscin. Accumulation of lipofuscin in Stargardt disease leads to cell death and retinal degeneration. REV-0100 has the potential to reduce lipofuscin levels in the retina. There are no other known products in development that remove accumulated lipofuscin through this mechanism of action and no other approved treatment for Stargardt disease. 

Aequus Pharmaceuticals and Dr. Koenekoop look forward to working closely with reVision Therapeutics to support the development of REV-0100 for Stargardt disease. 

About Stargardt Disease 
Stargardt disease is also called Stargardt macular dystrophy, juvenile macular degeneration, or fundus flavimaculatus. The disease causes progressive damage — or degeneration — of the macula and the fovea, which is an area in the center of the retina that is responsible for sharp, straight-ahead vision. Stargardt disease is one of several but the most common cause of genetic disorders that cause juvenile macular degeneration. Experts estimate that 1 in 8-10 thousand people have Stargardt disease.  

About reVision and REV-0100 
reVision Therapeutics, Inc. is a privately-held, early stage biopharmaceutical company focused on the development and commercialization of innovative therapies for ocular and rare diseases. reVision's lead product candidate REV-0100 is being developed as a treatment for Stargardt disease and dry age-related macular degeneration (AMD).  

About Aequus Pharmaceuticals Inc.
Aequus Pharmaceuticals Inc. (TSX-V: AQS, OTCQB: AQSZF) is a growing specialty pharmaceutical company focused on developing and commercializing high quality, differentiated products. Aequus has grown its sales and marketing efforts to include several commercial products in ophthalmology and transplant. Aequus plans to build on its commercial platform through the launch of additional products that are either created internally or brought in through an acquisition or license; remaining focused on highly specialized therapeutic areas.  

Forward-Looking Statement Disclaimer 
This release may contain forward-looking statements or forward-looking information under applicable Canadian securities legislation that may not be based on historical fact, including, without limitation, statements containing the words “believe”, “may”, “plan”, “will”, “estimate”, “continue”, “anticipate”, “intend”, “expect”, “potential” and similar expressions. Forward- looking statements are necessarily based on estimates and assumptions made by us in light of our experience and perception of historical trends, current conditions and expected future developments, as well as the factors we believe are appropriate. Forward-looking statements include but are not limited to statements relating to: the implementation of our business model and strategic plans; revenue growth trends into the future; the rate and degree of market acceptance and clinical utility of our products; the Company’s expected revenues; and the therapeutic benefits, effectiveness and safety of our product candidates and third-party products. Such statements reflect our current views with respect to future events and are subject to risks and uncertainties and are necessarily based upon a number of estimates and assumptions that, while considered reasonable by Aequus, are inherently subject to significant business, economic, competitive, political and social uncertainties and contingencies. Many factors could cause our actual results, performance or achievements to be materially different from any future results, performance, or achievements that may be expressed or implied by such forward-looking statements. In making the forward looking statements included in this release, the Company has made various material assumptions, including, but not limited to: the manufacturing capacity of third-party manufacturers for our product candidates; our ability to promote and market third party and licensed products; obtaining regulatory approvals; general business and economic conditions; the Company’s ability to successfully out-license or sell its current products and in-license and develop new products; the assumption that the Company’s current good relationships with its manufacturer and other third parties will be maintained; the availability of financing on reasonable terms; the Company’s ability to attract and retain skilled staff; market competition; the products and technology offered by the Company’s competitors; and the Company’s ability to protect patents and proprietary rights. In evaluating forward looking statements, current and prospective shareholders should specifically consider various factors set out herein and under the heading “Risk Factors” in the Company’s Annual Information Form dated April 28, 2020, a copy of which is available on Aequus’ profile on the SEDAR website at www.sedar.com, and as otherwise disclosed from time to time on Aequus’ SEDAR profile. Should one or more of these risks or uncertainties, or a risk that is not currently known to us materialize, or should assumptions underlying those forward-looking statements prove incorrect, actual results may vary materially from those described herein. These forward-looking statements are made as of the date of this release and we do not intend, and do not assume any obligation, to update these forward-looking statements, except as required by applicable securities laws. Investors are cautioned that forward-looking statements are not guarantees of future performance and are inherently uncertain. Accordingly, investors are cautioned not to put undue reliance on forward looking statements.   

Contact Information  
Aequus Investor Relations  
Email: investors@aequuspharma.ca  
Phone: 604-336-7906 


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