Uveitis, an inflammatory disease of the eye, is the third leading cause of blindness in the US, after diabetes and macular degeneration. Autoimmune uveitis is believed to result from an autoimmune reaction to antigens in the eye, specifically the S-antigen and the interphotoreceptor retinoid-binding protein (IRBP). OptiquelT our candidate drug based on Enzo's immune regulation technology platform is a potential therapy for autoimmune uveitis.
There is no known cure for uveitis, a disease that, according to the American Uveitis Society, is newly diagnosed in approximately 38.000 people every year. A particular concern is that it is a major cause of blindness among the younger population, especially in the 25 to 44 age group. Recent research suggests that autoimmune uveitis is significantly under-diagnosed an under-recognized.
While there are steps that can be taken to preserve sight and slow the progress of vision loss, individuals with uveitis are also at increased risks of developing cataracts, glaucoma, or retinal detachment. Current mainstays of therapy, including systemic steroids and immunosuppressive agents, are associated with significant systemic toxic side effects.