AMD Update is our monthly e-newsletter full of the latest information about macular degeneration, treatment and research.
For the past 30 years, antiretroviral drugs have been used to fight HIV/AIDS disease. Now, there is some hope that they may also be effective in treating dry macular degeneration. We know that inflammation is involved in AMD. This class of drugs blocks the biological pathway that triggers inflammation in the body. Human clinical trials may begin this year.
The current treatments for wet AMD include three drugs that stop the growth of blood vessels. They target VEGF, a growth factor that contributes to new blood vessels. Research has suggested that an additional growth factor – PDGF – is also active in wet macular degeneration. A new drug, called X-82, targets both VEGF and PDGF. The Phase 1 study results have been released and a Phase 2 study is starting.
Researchers in London have identified a previously unknown component that may signal the development of drusen and dry AMD. Drusen are tiny yellow deposits made up of fatty protein and are an early sign of macular degeneration. As they grow in number and size, they may lead to wet macular degeneration. The scientists found calcium deposits in all the drusen they studied. This discovery opens up a whole new area for research that could lead to possible prevention or treatment.
The standard treatment is for wet macular degeneration involves repeated injections into the eye. These can be very expensive, especially for someone without a secondary insurance. Lucentis and Eylea cost around $2000 per injection. The financial burden can be overwhelming.
The Patient Access Network (PAN) Foundation is dedicated to providing help and hope to underinsured patients who would otherwise be unable to afford high-cost specialty medications.