What is HMR59?
CD59 is a protective protein that is normally found on the plasma membrane of cells. CD59 protects cells from a natural inflammatory cascade in the body called complement that acts as a part of the body’s nonspecific immune response. An overactivity of complement is felt to be the cause of macular degeneration. Studies have also shown that patients with AMD have less CD59 present in the retina to protect their cells from damage caused by complement.
Hemera’s gene therapy that is under FDA approved clinical testing to treat both the dry and wet forms of AMD is called HMR59. HMR59 injected in the eye increases the ability of retina cells to make a soluble form of CD59 called sCD59. The soluble CD59 circulates within the retina to block complement from further damaging the retina.