Press about RVC

Scientists Develop a Drug That Prevents Vision Loss in Patients with Diabetes

Source: TASS

Researchers at the NTI Competence Centre at the Institute of Bioorganic Chemistry (IBCh RAS) named after the RAS Academicians M.M. Shemyakin and Yu. A. Ovchinnikov RAS together with colleagues from Moscow State University named after M.V. Lomonosov created a drug designed to treat ophthalmic complications in patients with diabetes. The Head of the Laboratory of Biopharmaceutical Technology, IBCh RAS Roman Yesipov, told TASS about it on Wednesday.

Diabetes is accompanied by some complications, among them — a progressive decrease in vision, which in some cases leads to blindness. Due to a systemic malfunction in the patient's eye, the process of continuous formation of new blood vessels begins. This leads to their damage and a chronic inflammatory process that reduces visual acuity. Damage to the vessels of the retina of the eye is found not only in people with diabetes. In essence, it can develop with age-related changes in the eyes, arterial hypertension, atherosclerosis, and other diseases. The authors of the study developed a drug that makes it possible to block the pathological proliferation of blood vessels, which ultimately helps maintain vision.

“The pathological overgrowth of blood vessels (angiogenesis) occurs due to the increased content of endothelial vascular growth factor, and the drugs used in the world for the treatment of diabetic retinopathy are aimed precisely at blocking this factor. We went the other way: in the human body, some proteins are natural inhibitors of angiogenesis. In our work, small fragments of these proteins were studied, which are as effective as the full-sized structure. The relatively small size of these peptides is undoubtedly a big plus for any ophthalmic medicine,” he said.

Animal Tests

Peptides tested on animals were effective even at very low dosages, which may reduce the cost of treatment in the future, the researcher said.

“According to the results of comparative analysis in the framework of preclinical trials, our drug turned out to be as effective as the foreign drug used as a control. At the same time, our peptides not only stopped the process of blood vessel growth in the eye but also led to resorption — a reduction in existing ones,” concluded the scientist.

Currently, the Competence Centre of NTI of the IBCh RAS is holding consultations on attracting a pharmaceutical company as a partner for conducting clinical trials with the subsequent launch of the drug on the drug market.


The Centre of Competence of NTI IBCh RAS is one of the 14 centres of competence of the National Technological Initiative. It is involved in the development of biotechnologies. Each centre brings together universities, research centres, and innovative enterprises to create end-to-end technologies that will be in demand in new global markets in 15–20 years. The operator of the project to create the NTI Competence Centres is Russian Venture Company (RVC).

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