One of the most common complications of Diabetes is vision loss. Diabetic Macular Oedema (DMO) occurs in approximately 7 per cent of patients with Diabetes and is one of the most common causes of blindness in the Western World.
A team of researchers found that the drug darapladib (originally developed for treating cardiovascular disease) inhibits an enzyme (Lp-PLA2 ), which metabolises fats in the blood, contributes to blood vessel damage and leakiness in the retina, is increased in people with Diabetes, which leads to swelling of the retina and severe vision loss.Currently, the most common treatments for patients with DMO is an injection of a drug directly into to the eye every 4-6 weeks. This therapy is very expensive and not effective for about half of all patients with DMO. Darapladib in form of a tablet has the potential to reduce the need for monthly injections and provide protection against vision loss in a much wider group of patients with Diabetes.
Darapladib may not only constitute a cost-effective alternative to current DMO treatments but has the potential to be effective for patients that currently do not respond to standard treatment.