CAMBRIDGE, Mass.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Aura Biosciences, a biotechnology company developing a new class of therapies to target and selectively destroy cancer cells using viral nanoparticle conjugates, announced today that Carol Shields, M.D., Director of the Ocular Oncology Service at the Wills Eye Hospital in Philadelphia, will present data from the Phase 1b clinical safety study of AU-011 during a late-breaking session at the American Academy of Ophthalmology (AAO) Annual Meeting in New Orleans, Nov. 11-14.
Light-activated AU-011, an investigational, first-in-class targeted therapy is in development for the treatment of ocular melanoma, a rare and life-threatening disease. The first patient in this study was dosed this past March by Dr. Shields at the Wills Eye Hospital.
Dr. Shields’ presentation, titled “A Phase 1b Clinical Safety Study of a Novel Tumor Targeted Therapy (AU-011) for the Treatment of Primary Choroidal Melanoma,” will take place on Saturday, Nov. 11, at 9:03 a.m. CT in The Great Hall, as part of the session, “Section XIII: Late Breaking Development – Part II.”
Additional information, including the presentation schedule, may be found in the AAO Mobile Meeting Guide.
About ocular melanoma
Ocular melanoma, also known as uveal or choroidal melanoma, develops in the uvea, or uveal tract, of the eye, and is a rare and aggressive eye cancer. No targeted therapies are available at present, and current treatments can be associated with severe visual morbidities. The most common current treatment is plaque radiotherapy, which involves surgical placement of a radiation device against the exterior of the eye over the tumor. This technique can control the melanoma but can also lead to radiation-related cataract, retinopathy and loss of vision. The alternative is enucleation, or removal of the eye. Ocular melanoma metastasizes to the liver in about 40 percent of cases in the long-term (source: OMF), and only 15 percent of patients whose melanoma has metastasized survive beyond five years after diagnosis (source: ACS).
About light-activated AU-011
AU-011 is a first-in-class targeted therapy in development for the primary treatment of ocular melanoma, also known as uveal or choroidal melanoma, a rare and life-threatening disease. The therapy consists of viral nanoparticle conjugates that bind selectively to cancer cells in the eye and is derived from technology originally pioneered by Dr. John Schiller of the Center for Cancer Research at the National Cancer Institute (NCI), recipient of the 2017 Lasker-DeBakey Award. Upon activation with an ophthalmic laser, the drug rapidly and specifically destroys the membranes of tumor cells while sparing key eye structures, which may allow for the potential of preserving patients’ vision. AU-011 for ocular melanoma has been granted orphan drug and fast track designations by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and is currently in clinical testing.
About Aura Biosciences
Aura Biosciences is developing a new class of therapies to target and destroy cancer cells selectively. Its lead program, AU-011 in ocular melanoma, is being developed under a CRADA with the National Cancer Institute (NCI), part of the National Institutes of Health. For more information, visit www.aurabiosciences.com.