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Upcoming Research on AMD

New Therapies and Delivery Systems

While the treatments in this article mention only AMD, these treatments would be equally suited to treating Stargardt's Disease.


At the Retina meeting in New Orleans this past weekend, eye doctors heard a whole list of research projects that may improve the treatment of macular degeneration, both dry and wet.  What follows is just an overview.  If you are interested in more details about any of these clinical trials, you can find it at Clinical Trials.gov.  Just search for the name of the drug or macular degeneration.  Remember that many trials are looking for people with new AMD who have not received any treatment yet. 

VEGF Trap - Wet AMD

The treatments we now have work against the growth of blood vessels in a very specific way.  The VEGF Trap also aims to stop the growth, but works against it in a different way than the other treatments.  The results of a Phase 1 study (CLEAR-IT AMD 1), with a small group of patients were presented.  The Phase II study (CLEAR-IT AMD 2) involves 150 patients and is currently underway.  The results so far were reported. 

Both studies show a good safety record, with no serious problems.  The highest dose gave the best result of reducing the thickness of the retina and an increase in vision.  One potential advantage of this treatment is the length of time between treatments.  It is an injection into the eye, but might only require retreatment every 8 weeks or longer.

A Phase III clinical trial is now recruiting patients for a study that will treat participants either with the VEGF-Trap or with Lucentis.  If you are interested in the study, call 866-549-8439 or email VIEW1study@ppdi.com.  You can also find more details at Clinical Trials.gov. 

Topical Therapy and Capsules

Ideally, AMD treatments would not include an eye injection.  There are challenges to developing an eye drop for AMD, because of the way the eye is structured.  But researchers are beginning to test this method with several drugs. There is even a capsule being developed. 


Sirion Therapeutics is conducting a Phase 2 study for DRY AMD of a capsule that would be swallowed twice a day for 24 months.  The 225 people involved in the study will either be taking a 100 mg dose, a 300 mg dose or a placebo with no active ingredient.  The aim is to reduce the geographic atrophy.


Othera Pharmaceuticals is testing an eye drop for DRY AMD.  The 198 subjects will be given two drops four times a day.  The patient will get either a 0.45% solution, a 0.3% solution or a placebo.  Like Fenretinide, it will be used to treat geographic atrophy.


Oxigene is developing an eye drop for Wet AMD with the goal of disrupting the existing blood vessels that may leak.  There are no active studies for AMD at this time, but they plan to file for FDA approval for use in myopic degeneration sometime in 2008.


TargGen is also working on an eye drop to act against the growth of blood vessels in Wet AMD.  The Phase I trial suggests good safety. In a small Phase II trial, patients will use the drops 2 times a day for 30 days. This study is currently recruiting.

For more information, go to ClinicalTrials.gov.


November 14, 2007


Article courtesy of amd.org
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