Squalamine is a steroid-polyamine conjugate that was first isolated from the liver of sharks of the genus Squalus but methods to make it synthetically have been developed. It possesses the property of reduction of small blood vessel growth in humans. Squalamine was studied as a potential drug to treat several forms of cancer and wet macular degeneration by scientists at Magainin Pharmaceuticals (subsequently called Genaera), but the company ran out of money and closed in 2009. Squalamine and some other drug assets were sold to Ohr Pharmaceutical for $200,000 by Genaera’s liquidator. It was studied in an eye drop formulation as a potential way to treat wet macular degeneration in combination with ranibizumab by Ohr Pharmaceuticals. A Phase II trial failed in 2015, but Ohr said a subpopulation with choroidal neovascularization responded well enough to justify a Phase III trial. Ohr announced that the Phase III trial had failed in January 2018.

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