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Wet age-related macular degeneration (wet AMD) is a condition characterized by the development of choroidal neovascularization in the eye, primarily affecting individuals aged 50 and older. It is a common cause of vision deterioration and blindness in the elderly. Currently, the clinical treatment approach involves intraocular injections of anti-angiogenic drugs such as ranibizumab (Lucentis®) and aflibercept (Eylea®) to induce the regression of neovascularization in the choroid, leading to an improvement in patients' vision.


Based on estimates of drug sales from existing clinical treatment methods, the global market for wet AMD exceeded 12 billion USD in 2021.


While intraocular injections of anti-angiogenic drugs are currently the first choice for treating macular degeneration, approximately 10-30% of patients do not respond well to this treatment. These patients urgently need innovative therapeutic drugs to prevent vision deterioration leading to blindness. In addressing the poor response to treatment in wet age-related macular degeneration, new drug developers are focused on creating entirely new therapeutic approaches to overcome the challenge of patients having no effective treatment options.。


In the experiment to inhibit cell angiogenesis, ASP5006 demonstrated superior inhibitory effects compared to Eylea.

Our company's DSG2 peptide drug, ASP5006, not only blocks angiogenesis caused by non-VEGF pathways but also, in laser-induced choroidal neovascularization monkey animal tests, effectively inhibits neovascularization at the eye's fundus. ASP5006 is currently undergoing development as an intravitreal injection sustained-release formulation, and there are plans for research into eye drop delivery techniques. Based on our company's research findings, ASP5006 has the potential to help patients with wet age-related macular degeneration who do not respond to current treatments and improve their vision.


ASP5006 effectively inhibits laser-induced choroidal neovascularization in monkey eyes.

In October 2022, the German pharmaceutical company Boehringer Ingelheim entered into a collaboration with the American drug company Surrozen, which specializes in developing drugs that regulate the Wnt signaling pathway. Boehringer Ingelheim paid $12.5 million as an upfront payment to exclusively obtain the global development license for SZN-413. Surrozen is also eligible to receive up to $583.5 million in development, regulatory, and commercial milestone payments. (Boehringer Ingelheim invests $600 million to access Surrozen's next-generation targeted regenerative antibodies, targeting the ophthalmic disease market)

The Wnt signaling pathway plays a crucial role in various biological processes within an organism, including development, tissue repair, cell proliferation, cell differentiation, and immune responses. SZN-413 is a dual-specificity antibody targeting Fzd4-mediated Wnt signaling and Lrp5. Previous research by Surrozen has demonstrated that SZN-413 not only induces normal retinal vascularization but also inhibits pathological blood vessel growth and reduces vascular leakage, thus holding the potential to prevent retinal degeneration and treat related diseases.


In our experiments, we have found that ASP5006 interacts with FZD4 and LRP6 in the Wnt signaling pathway, similar to the action pathway of SZN-413. Furthermore, among the potential licensing partners we have contacted, ASP5006 is estimated to have a preclinical stage valuation of approximately $250 million in the global market. In comparison to SZN-413, there is a potential to achieve a licensing contract exceeding $600 million in the future.


A comparison between SZN-413 and ASP5006

ASP5006 Overview:

• Global number of patients with age-related macular degeneration (AMD): Approximately 20 million.

• Treatment drugs: Mainly anti-vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) inhibitors.

• Global market: > $15 billion (2022).

• Eylea (Current market leader among the top ten drugs): > $12 billion (2022).

• Market for patients (20%) unresponsive to current treatment drugs: $3 billion.

• Market for patients (60% or more) developing resistance to VEGF inhibitors after 2 years of treatment: $6 billion.

• Market for combination therapy, combining drugs approaching inefficacy: $6 billion.

In addition to the above markets, including other indications and new delivery mechanisms (eye drops): > $15 billion.

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