Emerging treatments for AMD
Jason S. Slakter, MD, discussed emerging AMD treatments during the Irving H. Leopold Lecture at the Wills Eye Institute Alumni Conference. Lucentis has revolutionized the treatment of AMD. However, anti-VEGFs alone are not effective for all patients, Dr. Slakter said, and studies are under way on new treatments. Sirolimus targets mTOR, a protein that plays a role in promoting VEGF. The agent is in phase 2 trials. RTP801, a small interfering RNA molecule that suppresses VEGF production, is in phase 1 testing for intravitreal delivery. VEGF Trap-Eye (Bayer HealthCare, Regeneron), a fusion protein that inhibits the VEGF molecule, has been effective in improving visual acuity and reducing choroidal neovascularization. The agent is now in phase 3 testing against Lucentis. Emerging treatments for dry AMD include an implant that produces and delivers ciliary neurotrophic factor, a neuroprotective agent. Early data from a phase 2 study of geographic atrophy showed favorable results, Dr. Slakter said.