Introduction: The Tie-2/Angiopoietin pathway is a therapeutic target for the treatment of neovascular age-related macular degeneration (nAMD) and diabetic macular edema (DME). Activation of Tie-2 receptor via Ang-1 maintains vascular stability to limit exudation. Ang-2, a competitive antagonist to Ang-1, and VE-PTP, an endothelial-specific phosphatase, interfere with the Tie-2-Ang-1 axis, resulting in vascular leakage. Areas covered: Faricimab, a bispecific antibody that inhibits VEGF-A and Ang-2, is in phase 3 trials for nAMD and DME. Nesvacumab is an Ang-2 inhibitor; when coformulated with aflibercept, it failed to show benefit over aflibercept monotherapy in achieving visual gains in phase 2 studies of nAMD and DME. ARP-1536 is an intravitreally administered VE-PTP inhibitor undergoing preclinical studies. AKB-9778 is a subcutaneously administered VE-PTP inhibitor that, when combined with monthly ranibizumab, reduced DME more effectively than ranibizumab monotherapy in a phase 2 study. AKB-9778 monotherapy did not reduce diabetic retinopathy severity score compared to placebo. AXT107, currently in the preclinical phase, promotes conversion of Ang-2 into a Tie-2 agonist and blocks signaling through VEGFR2 and other receptor tyrosine-kinases. Expert opinion: Tie-2/Angiopoietin pathway modulators show promise to reduce treatment burden and improve visual outcomes in nAMD and DME, with potential to treat cases refractory to current treatment modalities.
- Age-related macular degeneration
- Tie-2 receptor
- diabetic macular edema
- vascular endothelial growth factor
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Pharmacology (medical)