Compound Restores Transparency to Mouse Lenses, Human Lens Tissue
Through these experiments, said Gestwicki, “We are starting to understand the mechanism in detail. We know where compound 29 binds, and we are beginning to know exactly what it’s doing.” The team next tested compound 29 in an eye-drop formulation in mice carrying mutations that make them predisposed to cataracts.
Similar results were seen when compound 29 eye drops were applied in mice that naturally developed age-related cataracts, and also when the compound was applied to human lens tissue affected by cataracts that had been removed during surgery.
He has licensed the compound from U-M and Makley, a former graduate student and postdoctoral fellow in the Gestwicki laboratory, is founder and chief scientific officer of ViewPoint Therapeutics, a company that is actively developing compound 29 for human use.
In addition to compound 29’s potential for cataract treatment, the insights gained through the research could have broader applications, said Gestwicki, a member of UCSF’s Institute for Neurodegenerative Diseases whose main research interest is dementia and related disorders.