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Startup Spotlight- DUB Biologics' new therapy for corneal scarring could revolutionize treatment

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Startup Spotlight- DUB Biologics' new therapy for corneal scarring could revolutionize treatment

DUB Biologics is developing a self-delivery siRNA that prevents scarring and inflammation by targeting knockdown of USP10, initially in corneal opacification applications. 

Dr. Audrey Bernstein founded the lead anti-scarring target and produced the supporting data that enabled the submission of 2 patent applications. Together with Tere Williams’ expertise in immunology, marketing, and strategic planning, Bernstein and Williams co-founded DUB Biologics to develop their anti-scarring sdRNA therapeutic.

Co-founders of DUB Biologics Dr. Audrey Bernstein (left) and Tere Williams (right).

They’re hoping to change how corneal injuries and scarring that can lead to vision loss are treated. As inflammation is a major part of the scarring response, a mix of antibiotics and corticosteroids are often currently prescribed. Steroids produce inconsistent results and well-established adverse events that include cataracts and glaucoma. The available treatments are also extremely time-consuming; the current dosage for some prescriptions can be required as frequently as every 15 minutes.

DUB Biologics’ product is made of Self-delivery siRNAs (sdRNA) that can penetrate cells without additional reagents. One dose of sdRNA lasts 2-3 months to reduce inflammation and prevent scarring. sdRNAs circumvent the most difficult issues surrounding ocular drugs, the need for frequent dosing, and patient compliance. They plan to create an eyedrop a physician can administer to a patient when they are treating a corneal injury, either due to infection or physical injury that is likely to lead to scarring and vision loss.

They currently hold a method use patent for the knockdown of USP10 and a pending composition of matter patent on the human USP10-targeting siRNA. DUB Biologics is positioned to start Phase I & II clinical trials in corneal scarring/fibrosis. They’ve already shown anti-scarring and anti-inflammatory effects in several different types of lab models during testing.

DUB Biologics is also exploring applications and formulations of the same active pharmaceutical ingredient (API) in dermal scarring and fibrosis. These 2 model systems are often used in parallel to test anti-fibrotic drugs, given their similarity in the biological underpinnings of healing. 

Interested in learning more? Email to connect with DUB Biologics.

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