Vascular permeability and angiogenesis underpin neovascular age-related macular degeneration and diabetic retinopathy. While anti-VEGF therapies are widely used clinically, many patients do not respond optimally, or at all, and small-molecule therapies are lacking. Here, we identified a dibenzoxazepinone BT2 that inhibits endothelial cell proliferation, migration, wound repair in vitro, network formation, and angiogenesis in mice bearing Matrigel plugs. BT2 interacts with MEK1 and inhibits ERK phosphorylation and the expression of FosB/ΔFosB, VCAM-1, and many genes involved in proliferation, migration, angiogenesis, and inflammation. BT2 reduced retinal vascular leakage following rat choroidal laser trauma and rabbit intravitreal VEGF-A165 administration. BT2 suppressed retinal CD31, pERK, VCAM-1, and VEGF-A165 expression. BT2 reduced retinal leakage in rats at least as effectively as aflibercept, a first-line therapy for nAMD/DR. BT2 withstands boiling or autoclaving and several months' storage at 22°C. BT2 is a new small-molecule inhibitor of vascular permeability and angiogenesis.
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