Retinopathy of Prematurity
Retinopathy of Prematurity is a disease that affects premature babies and can cause retinal maladies and blindness. When babies are born prematurely before 30 weeks gestational age (GA), their retinas are one of the last anatomical features to develop. After a premature birth, they are placed in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) and given supplemental oxygen, frequently given through a mechanical ventilator that pushes air into their lungs. This supplemental oxygen is necessary and lifesaving, but it also stimulates an active response by their immune systems that increases inflammation, directly affecting their “still-under development” retinas and eye outside the womb, leading to ROP.
AyuVis aims to prevent and treat ROP by modulating the immune system to reduce inflammation while not altering essential eye growth factors with a small immunotherapy molecule.
It is estimated that more than 50,000 preterm babies <30 weeks gestational age (GA) are born yearly at high risk for ROP. Additionally, 20,000 of those preterm babies will become blind or visually impaired. The financial burden for families can range from $30,000 - $224,295 per baby, including medical exams, treatments, and follow-up visits.
ROP is described into two primary components of the disease:
Stage 1 – retinal vasculature being obliterated and
Stage 2 – new vasculature growing incorrectly, leading to scarring and blindness.
VEGF injection therapy is the only FDA-approved method to treat ROP or surgery, which adds a high level of risk in side effects and sometimes retinal detachment, leading to blindness. These treatments present a high unmet need for less invasive therapies that are medically and financially cost-effective for preterm babies and their families. In addition to ROP and other retinopathies such as diabetic retinopathy (DR) and Age-Related Macular Degeneration (AMD) are also closely related in terms of disease progression and type in the eye vasculature. Our pipeline is also able to address these diseases which expands our consumer base of families and individuals AyuVis can help to increase quality of life and eye health longevity.