Researchers from the U.S. and Singapore are focused on a candidate of novel drug having marine origins as a latest method for preventing or treating vision loss.

According to the National Eye Centre of Singapore, the population of Singapore is uniquely vulnerable to the eye diseases as well as disorders at all stages of life, and the danger of blindness increases fifteen times for Singaporeans having the ages between the years 50 to 80 and also above. Formation of abnormal blood vessel is a defining feature of several eye diseases, such as neovascular age-related macular degeneration, the neovascular glaucoma and also the advanced diabetic retinopathy. A protein which is called the vascular endothelial growth factor, or the VEGF, was recently identified as a major regulator of latest formation of blood vessel in health and diseases.

The Managing Director and a Ph.D. professor at the Singapore National Eye Centre as well as the Singapore Eye Research Institute, Tien Y Wong said that the therapies which inhibit VEGF have revolutionized the treatment of several retinal diseases, like the macular degeneration which is related to age and diabetic retinopathy, in the last decade. Regardless of this progress, for a few of these diseases, about 30 to 40 percent of the patients do not show any response to the treatment.

Researchers from the College of Pharmacy at the University of Florida (UF) researchers teamed up with collaborators at the SERI and at the Singaporean A*STAR Institute of Molecular and Cell Biology (IMCB), for seeing whether the Apratoxin S4 which is a novel molecule that is based on the marine cyanobacteria, might be an effective therapy for restricting the formation of abnormal blood vessel in the eye, that might be a potential treatment for the retinal diseases in future.

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