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Welcome to the Empowered Patient Podcast with Karen Jagoda.  This show is a window into the latest innovations in digital health and the changing dynamic between doctors and patients.

Topics on the show include

  • the emergence of precision medicine and breakthroughs in genomics
  • advances in biopharmaceuticals
  • age-related diseases and aging in place
  • using big data from wearables and sensors
  • transparency in the medical marketplace
  • challenges for connected health entrepreneurs

The audience includes researchers, medical professionals, patient advocates, entrepreneurs, patients, caregivers, solution providers, students, journalists, and investors.

Sep 12, 2023

David Esposito, President and CEO of ONL Therapeutics, is focused on back-of-the-eye diseases such as open-angle glaucoma, dry age-related macular degeneration, and retinal detachment. Their drug ONL1204 targets retina cells to block the Fas receptor to reduce damage to the eye.  This small peptide is delivered via an injection in the eye to slow the progression of retinal diseases.

David elaborates, "The Fas receptor is a common pathophysiology in a number of cells of the body. Your audience may be familiar with oncology treatments, so therapies to treat cancer often try to develop a drug that activates the Fas receptor to trigger the death of those cancer cells. Those have been around for several decades, looking at fas receptors in other disease states. We have been the only ones focused in ophthalmology and eye diseases focused on the Fas receptor to protect retina cells." 

"I think certainly with fas receptors in the eye, what's very interesting is that it is a common pathophysiology across a variety of diseases of the eye. In drug discovery, you typically think of a particular receptor for a specific disease state. I mentioned cancer cells before with Fas. What's interesting about the discovery work that our founder, Dr. David Zacks, did at the University of Michigan is that the Fas receptor is involved in a variety of different diseases of the eye."

"You wouldn't necessarily think the receptor could be implicated in a disease like dry age-related macular degeneration and in a different pathophysiology in glaucoma. But what’s really unique about the Fas receptor and why we see the potential of blocking the Fas receptor is that it could have a significant impact across several disease states, whether it be glaucoma, AMD, or an acute condition of retinal detachment. That's what's been most exciting and certainly garnered a lot of interest in ONL on that approach." 

#ONLTherapeutics #EyeDisease #RetinalDisease #AMD #MacularDegeneration

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