Telor Ophthalmic Pharmaceuticals Inc. has successfullycompleted a clinical pharmacology study of a drug for thetreatment of presbyopia, the loss of the lens' ability to focus onnear objects.

Stephen Riggi, Telor's president and chief executive officer, saidthe drug acts by modifying the tone of the vasalary muscle towhich the lens is attached. He explained that as the musclecontracts, the lens gets thicker, a process known asaccommodation. When the lens is not thick, vision extends along way. Riggi noted that almost everyone over age 40 losesthe ability to see near objects.

Riggi said presbyopia is a condition of the lens rather than theshape of the eye, as is the case with myopia (nearsightedness,in which the eyeball has enlarged) and hyperopia(farsightedness, in which the eyeball is smaller than normal).Reading glasses or bifocals may correct presbyopia, but there isno pharmaceutical treatment for it.

Telor's placebo-controlled, double-masked study included 24patients with presbyopia. The Woburn, Mass., company saidone topical dose of the drug in an eye-drop form"demonstrated a statistically significant improvement in theability to focus on printed material at a close distance." Sincethe clinical end point was the result of reading tests, the initialfeasibility studies were done in humans rather than in animals.The purpose of the study was to determine if there is apharmacological way to change the shape of the lens.

Riggi said Telor has been looking at a particular drug class andis now trying to determine the actual chemical entity forfurther development. The company has filed two patentapplications covering the use of related classes of molecules totreat presbyopia.

Telor (NASDAQ:TELR) has two other drugs in clinicals: Tekron, atopical formulation for use in controlling chronic elevatedintraocular pressure associated with open-angle glaucoma andocular hypertension, and Xarano, for use during cataractsurgery to prevent or reduce transient post-operative increasesin intraocular pressure. -- Brenda Sandburg

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