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Exonate Principal Scientist awarded Outstanding Young Investigator Award to attend meetings in Australia and New Zealand

Posted on 4 Nov 2019

 Jenny Batson Award

Exonate Principal Scientist awarded Outstanding Young Investigator Award to attend meetings in Australia and New Zealand

Principal Scientist Dr Jennifer Batson has been awarded the Outstanding Young Investigator Award from the British Pharmacological Society and the Australasian Society for Clinical and Experimental Pharmacologists and Toxicologists (ASCEPT). The award follows work presented at British Pharmacological Society meetings demonstrating improved ocular drug delivery of novel SRPK1 inhibitors with potential for game-changing eye drop administration in wAMD and DMO.

The award will fund travel for Dr Batson to visit research institutes in Brisbane and Sydney and attend The Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Ophthalmologists, RANZCO 51st Annual Congress, Sydney, 8th November – 12th November 2019 , which brings together ophthalmologists from across Australia and overseas to share and discuss the latest innovations, techniques and advances in eye health care.

This will provide the opportunity for Dr Batson to meet with clinicians ahead of clinical trial planning.

Dr Batson will also attend the ASCEPT 2019 Queenstown, New Zealand from 25th  – 29th  November 2019 Scientific meeting in Queenstown, New Zealand which this year has the theme: Shared Horizons: Optimising drug response to improve patient outcomes.

ASCEPT is an international meeting with presentations on academic and industrial pre-clinical and clinical pharmacology.

Dr. Jennifer Batson Principal Scientist commented “ I am delighted to receive the Outstanding Young Investigator Award, and would like to thank the British Pharmacological Society, I am looking forward to seeing novel advances in ophthalmology and drug development at RANZCO and ASCEPT and I’m excited to have the opportunity to meet researchers and clinicians in Australia and New Zealand”



Dr. Jennifer Batson will be available for meetings whilst there and contact can be made via Sarah Buchallet.

Exonate’s strategy is to introduce a revolutionary, game-changing eye drop for the treatment of retinal vascular diseases, including wet Age-Related Macular Degeneration (wAMD) and Diabetic Macular Oedema (DMO), by using mRNA targeted therapies. Exonate has developed small molecules that inhibit the production of pro-angiogenic VEGF through the selective inhibition of serine/threonine-protein kinase (SRPK1)-mediated VEGF splicing.


Exonate Limited

Sarah Buchallet, Marketing
Tel:  +44 (0) 1223 437042


About Exonate:

Exonate is a privately held, early stage, biotech company spun out of the University of Nottingham that is focused on alternative splicing of Vascular Endothelial Growth Factor (VEGF) in ophthalmology. Exonate’s lead programme is focused on Diabetic Macular Oedema (DMO). A consequence of diabetic retinopathy, DMO, is swelling in an area of the retina called the macula and wet Age-Related Macular Degeneration (wAMD), which is the leading cause of vision loss in people aged 60 and older.  The Company is founded on scientific excellence with strong links to Professor David Bates and his lab at Nottingham University specialising in the biology and biochemical pathways of VEGF splice variants.

Exonate have developed small molecules that inhibit production of pro-angiogenic VEGF through selective inhibition of serine/threonine-protein kinase 1 (SRPK1)-mediated VEGF splicing.  These inhibitors have already demonstrated superior efficacy as topical agents in preclinical models of wet AMD.  Through a Wellcome Trust funded project, Exonate will complete an optimisation programme to nominate a pre-clinical candidate drug with optimal characteristics ahead of regulatory toxicology and safety pharmacology studies which will support an application to the regulatory authorities for clinical evaluation.  Exonate expects to reach this milestone and enter the clinic in early 2020.


Exonate is led by an experienced, international management team that has previously worked together with cross-disciplinary experience in medicine and drug development, as well as successful fundraising for early stage companies.


About Diabetic Macular Oedema (DMO)*:

DMO is the build-up of fluid (Oedema) in a region of the retina called the macula. The macula is important for the sharp, straight-ahead vision that is used for reading, recognising faces, and driving. DMO is the most common cause of vision loss among people with diabetic retinopathy. About half of all people with diabetic retinopathy will develop DMO and although it is more likely to occur as diabetic retinopathy worsens, DMO can happen at any stage of the disease.


About wet Age-Related Macular Degeneration (wet AMD):

Today, wet AMD is a leading cause of vision loss in people aged 60 years or older and affects more than 30 million patients worldwide, over 200,000 of those in the UK alone. If untreated patients are likely to lose sight in the affected eye within 24 months of disease onset.


The main currently available treatment options for DMO and wet AMD are:

·         anti-VEGF antibody drugs – to prevent the growth of new blood vessels in the eye. Unlike small molecule drugs or eye drops these treatments must be injected into the eye once every 1 or 2 months. Resistance can develop to these drugs causing the disease to progress anew.

·         Laser surgery – to destroy abnormal blood vessels in the eye. This type of surgery is only suitable if blood vessel damage is not too extensive and if the abnormal blood vessels aren't close to the fovea, as performing surgery close to this part of the eye can cause permanent vision loss.

·         With DMO, Corticosteroids either injected or implanted into the eye, may be used alone or in combination with other drugs or laser surgery to treat DMO.




Please contact Sarah Buchallet at Exonate for further information 01223 734710



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