Japan's R-Tech Ueno buys rights on corneal defects candidate from Santen

R-Tech Ueno President Yukihiko Mashima

Japan's R-Tech Ueno has bought development and commercialization rights for DE-105 to treat persistent corneal epithelial defects from Santen Pharmaceutical in a deal that follows disappointing Phase III data on its UF-021 ophthalmic solution for treatment of retinitis pigmentosa.

In addition, R-Tech Ueno inked a separate agreement with the inventor of DE-105, Professor Emeritus Teruo Nishida (Graduate School of Medicine, Yamaguchi University) to join as a medical adviser of R-Tech Ueno.

"DE-105 is an ophthalmic solution of neurotrophic factor peptide, discovered and developed from academia," R-Tech Ueno President Yukihiko Mashima said in the press release.

"It has been developed as a treatment for severe persistent corneal epithelial defects caused by corneal sensory nerve disorder (currently at the stage of Phase I clinical trial in the United States and Phase II clinical trial in Japan)."

In March, R-Tech Ueno failed to meet its primary endpoint in a Phase III clinical trial for Unoprostone (UF-021) ophthalmic solution, adding at that time it was reviewing options for the candidate.

The study covered UF-021 ophthalmic solution for treatment of retinitis pigmentosa, for which an effective therapy has not been currently established in the multicenter study using a placebo.

"We confirmed the therapeutic effectiveness of UF-021 ophthalmic solution for Retinitis Pigmentosa through the present Phase III clinical study in Japan, but as the primary endpoint at the end of study was not statistically significant, we are analyzing the data from various angles and examining possibility of the new drug application to MHLW as best we can now."

- here's the release from R-Tech Ueno (PDF)