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A Highly Selective Rho-Kinase Inhibitor (ITRI-E-212) Potentially Treats Glaucoma Upon Topical Administration With Low Incidence of Ocular Hyperemia.

Invest Ophthalmol Vis Sci. 2019 Feb 01;60(2):624-633

Authors: Hsu CR, Chen YH, Liu CP, Chen CH, Huang KK, Huang JW, Lin MN, Lin CL, Chen WR, Hsu YL, Lee TC, Chou SH, Tu CM, Hwang CS, Huang YC, Lu DW

Abstract
Purpose: The purpose of this study was to investigate the IOP-lowering effects of the ITRI-E-212, a new Rho-associated protein kinase (ROCK) inhibitor. ITRI-E-212 improved fluid outflow through the trabecular meshwork and reduced IOP with transient and mild conjunctival hyperemia. ITRI-E-212 can potentially be developed into new antiglaucoma agents.
Methods: ITRI-E-212 was selected from more than 200 amino-isoquinoline structures because of its adequate solubility and drug-loading percentage in eye drops. ITRI-E-212 has less than 50% inhibitory concentration (IC50) against ROCK2. The in vitro kinase inhibition was evaluated using the ADP-Glo kinase assay. A comprehensive analysis of the kinase inhibitor selectivity of ITRI-E-212 was performed using the KINOMEscan methodology. The IOP-lowering effect and tolerability of ITRI-E-212 were investigated in normotensive and ocular hypertensive rabbits. The pharmacokinetics study was performed in vivo in the aqueous humor (AH), and hyperemia was assessed.
Results: ITRI-E-212 showed high in vitro inhibitory activity against ROCK2 and high specificity against AGC kinases. The mean IOP-lowering effect of ITRI-E-212 in normotensive and ocular hypertensive models was 24.9% and 28.6%, respectively; 1% ITRI-E-212 produced notable reductions in IOP that were sustained for at least 6 hours after each dose once per day. Only transient, mild hyperemia was observed. The compound extracted from the AH reached 78.4% ROCK2 kinase inhibition at 1 hour after dose administration and was sustained for 4 hours.
Conclusions: ITRI-E-212 is a novel and highly specific ROCK2 inhibitor with the ability to lower IOP in animal models. It has favorable pharmacokinetic and ocular tolerability profiles with only minimal conjunctival hyperemia.

PMID: 30735565 [PubMed – in process]

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