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Santen and twoXAR Announce Strategic Research Collaboration to Discover New Glaucoma Treatments

Santen, Inc., the U.S. subsidiary of Santen Pharmaceutical Co., Ltd., the specialty ophthalmology company headquartered in Osaka, Japan, and twoXAR, Inc., an artificial intelligence-driven biopharmaceutical company, today announced that the two companies have entered into a strategic research collaboration focused on the identification of new drug candidates for glaucoma.

Under the agreement, twoXAR will use its proprietary computational drug discovery platform to discover, screen, and prioritize novel drug candidates with potential application in ocular indications, with a specific focus on glaucoma. Santen will have the exclusive right to develop and commercialize drug candidates arising from the collaboration. Further details of the agreement were not disclosed.

“We are pleased to have established this strategic collaboration with twoXAR which aims to deliver new treatment options for the millions of people living with glaucoma globally,” said Naveed Shams, MD, PhD, Senior Corporate Officer, Chief Scientific Officer and Head of Global Research and Development at Santen. “By leveraging twoXAR’s proprietary computational discovery platform to identify novel targets in areas of glaucoma, Santen further strengthens our R&D capabilities while expanding our pipeline of innovative therapeutic opportunities that help fulfill the unmet medical needs in ophthalmology.”

Glaucoma is a group of degenerative disorders of the optic nerve, and it is the second leading cause of blindness worldwide. Ophthalmologists use a variety of treatment modalities to address glaucoma in its various forms, including pharmaceuticals, laser procedures, and incisional surgical interventions, but medications generally are the first and most common option. For decades, ophthalmologists have used prescription ocular hypotensive compounds to treat glaucoma and ocular hypertension (OHT). These medications aim to lower elevated intraocular pressure (IOP), one of the most common and significant risk factors for glaucoma’s progression. In 2010, 60.5 million people globally were living with glaucoma. Given the aging of the world’s population, the number of people living with glaucoma may increase to nearly 80 million by 2020.1

“This collaboration is an exciting example that demonstrates how software-driven approaches can lead the discovery of new drugs rather than simply supporting existing hypotheses,” said Andrew A. Radin, co-founder and Chief Executive Officer of twoXAR. “The combination of twoXAR’s unique capabilities in artificial intelligence-driven drug discovery with Santen’s experience in ophthalmic product development and commercialization provides a foundation upon which we can rapidly discover and develop new therapeutic candidates to treat glaucoma and bring better treatment options to the millions of people living with this disease.”

About Santen

As a specialty company dedicated to the ophthalmic field, Santen carries out research, development, marketing, and sales of pharmaceuticals. Santen is the market leader in Japan for prescription ophthalmic pharmaceuticals and sells products in over 50 countries. As a leading company in the field of ophthalmology, Santen aims to contribute to society by supplying valuable products and services to satisfy unmet medical needs. For more details, please see Santen’s website (www.santen.com).

Santen Forward-looking Statements

Information provided in this press release contains so-called “Forward-looking Statements.” The realizations of these forecasts are subject to risk and uncertainty from various sources. Therefore, please note that the actual results may differ significantly from the forecasts. Business performance and financial condition are subject to the effects of change in regulations made by the governments of Japan and other nations concerning medical insurance, drug pricing and other systems, and to fluctuations in market variables such as interest rates and foreign exchange rates.

Bright Focus Foundation website. Glaucoma Facts & Figures. Accessed February 22, 2017 at http://www.brightfocus.org/glaucoma/article/glaucoma-facts-figures.

This article first appeared on businesswire