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Saturday / April 13.
HomeminewsPromising New Drug for DMO

Promising New Drug for DMO

An experimental drug – part of a new class of therapeutics called ‘senolytics – is offering a promising new approach to treating diabetic macular oedema (DMO).  

Remarkably, the study, which was published in Nature Medicine, demonstrated that just one injection of the drug, known as UBX1325 or foselutoclax, resulted in positive effects on vision lasting at least six months. 

Developed by scientists from the San Francisco-based UNITY Biotechnology, in collaboration with the Maisonneuve-Rosemont Hospital Research Center affiliated with Université de Montréal (UdeM), UBX1325 has shown significant efficacy in patients who previously exhibited poor response to standard treatments. 

DMO occurs when tiny blood vessels that supply the retina start to leak, cause swelling and vision problems. Current treatments, effective for about half of diabetic patients, often require frequent eye injections and may come with side effects. 

Remarkably… just one injection of UBX1325 resulted in positive effects on vision lasting at least six months.

UBX1325 offers a novel approach by targeting and eliminating damaged, senescent cells within the diabetic retina. 

The new drug eliminates the troublesome cells, helping the eye to heal. 

“We developed UBX1325 to selectively eliminate damaged, senescent cells that propagate disease in the diabetic retina,” said the study’s lead author, UdeM’s ophthalmology professor Przemyslaw (Mike) Sapieha, who is also the chief scientist at UNITY. 

“By removing senescent cells from the vascular unit, we believe we stimulate healing of the retina.” 

The study authors hope UBX1325 could pave the way for more successful and longer-lasting treatments for the sight-threatening condition. 


  1. Crespo-Garcia, S., Fournier, F., Diaz-Marin, R. et al. Therapeutic targeting of cellular senescence in diabetic macular edema: preclinical and phase 1 trial results. Nat Med (2024). DOI: 10.1038/s41591-024-02802-4