Small Molecule TrkB Agonist to Prevent Blindness from Eye Injuries


Small molecule HIOC derivatives as a therapeutic for preventing vision loss in traumatic eye injuries.

Key Benefits

  • Reduces blindness in a model of traumatic optical injury.
  • May be administered systemically and penetrates tissues in and adjacent to the brain.
  • This treatment method has potential for indications outside of retinal injury.

Market Summary

Current standard of care for traumatic optic injury is to mitigate injury to the nerves, which results from swelling of the optic area. Options include initial treatment with high doses of corticosteroids within 8 hours of injury followed by supplementary doses over the next 48 hours, or surgery to reduce compression of the optic canal. Both treatments can have serious side effects, including permanent damage to surrounding tissues, and outcomes are questionable.

Technical Summary

Emory researchers have found that derivatives of the small molecule HIOC target TrkB and result in prevention of permanent vision loss after traumatic eye injury. These compounds can be administered systemically and cross the blood brain barrier to reach the desired retinal target. In vivo studies show that HIOC completely reverses vision loss at 4 months post-injury compared to control. TrkB signaling is involved in a variety of other diseases including depression, nicotine dependence, and neurodegenerative disorders. These compounds could be used to study and/or treat other disease states in addition to blindness.

Developmental Stage

New compounds are currently being tested for efficacy in a bioassay.

Patent Information

App Type Country Serial No. Patent No. File Date Issued Date Patent Status
PCT PCT PCT/US2021/029908   4/29/2021   National Phase Entered
Tech ID: 18011
Published: 5/5/2021