iCura Vision and Columbia Technology Ventures have announced the licensing of iCura Vision’s intellectual property portfolio and associated research and development program for a investigational oral medication intended to slow or halt the progression of “dry” age-related macular degeneration (AMD). Under the terms of the licensing agreement, the NIH’s Blueprint Neurotherapeutics Network, which has funded the medication’s discovery and early development, will continue to provide financial support through phase I.

The first candidate, ICR-14967, should enter clinical phase development in 2016. ICR 14967 will be administered orally and it is just one of a rich pipeline of compounds covered under the agreement. It works by reducing the delivery to the eye of retinol, a key component of vision, which may lead to the formation of toxic byproducts that build up under the retina to produce dry AMD.