Wet Macular Degeneration Drug May Reduce Number of Injections Needed

January 21, 2017

An experimental drug, AXT107, may one day make treatment simpler for patients with age-related macular degeneration, according to research published in the January 18 issue of Science Translational Medicine.

“We anticipate injection of AXT107 in humans may have a substantially longer effect than current treatment,” lead researcher Peter Campochiaro, MD, a professor of ophthalmology at the Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, told HealthDay. “Instead of eye injections every four to six weeks, we hope it would be several months between injections.”

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Kale as Treatment for Wet AMD

September 27, 2014

The kale nutrients that are most important to us who are concerned about macular degeneration is lutein and zeaxanthin. These carotenoids are powerful antioxidants that protect the macula – a tiny spot in the middle of the retina that gives us our straight ahead vision.

But that’s not the only health benefit of kale. This cruciferous vegetable is a rich source of calcium, Vitamins A and C along with the powerful macular degeneration antioxidants, lutein and zeaxanthin.

As far back as 1994 a Harvard study was done by Dr. Johanna Seddon. The conclusion of that study was that those who ate at least 5 servings of dark leafy greens per week had a 43% lower risk of developing AMD than those who ate small amounts or none at all.

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The High Cost of Healing

December 14, 2013

The following is from the Washington Post:

The two drugs have been declared equivalently miraculous. Tested side by side in six major trials, both prevent blindness in a common old-age affliction. Biologically, they are cousins. They’re even made by the same company.

But one holds a clear price advantage.


Avastin costs about $50 per injection.

Lucentis costs about $2,000 per injection.

Doctors choose the more expensive drug more than half a million times every year, a choice that costs the Medicare program, the largest single customer, an extra $1 billion or more annually.




Many ophthalmologists, however, are skeptical that Lucentis provides any added value over the cheaper alternative.

“Lucentis is Avastin — it’s the same damn molecule with a few cosmetic changes,” said J. Gregory Rosenthal, a Toledo ophthalmologist who, outraged by the price, co-founded a group called Physicians for Clinical Responsibility to protest its use. “Yet Americans are paying a billion dollars every year for no good reason — unless you count making Genentech rich.”

John Thompson, a Baltimore ophthalmologist who is president of the American Society of Retinal Specialists, noted that most doctors use Avastin and that even more would do so if the company sought FDA approval for using it in eyes and packaged it in appropriate doses.

“If Genentech decided to get FDA approval and make Avastin available in small quantities for the eye,” he said, “the American Society of Retinal Specialists would applaud.”

For more info:  http://www.washingtonpost.com/business/economy/an-effective-eye-drug-is-available-for-50-but-many-doctors-choose-a-2000-alternative/2013/12/07/1a96628e-55e7-11e3-8304-caf30787c0a9_story.html


Treatments for Wet Macular Degeneration

January 14, 2013

Macugen was the first antiangiogenic therapy to be approved by the FDA. It was shown to be effective in 70% of cases, but did not restore vision in any statistically significant amount.

Lucentis approved since 2008. Shot given every 4 weeks. 95% effective.

Avastin similar to Lucentis but much less expensive

Eyelea approved since 2011. Shot given every 8 weeks.

Photodynamic Therapy (PDT) is a cold laser + dye treatment that is still being used to treat patients with wet AMD, though much less frequently now that useful drugs are available.

Photocoagulation Therapy is a “hot laser” treatment. With the advent of newer therapies, very few “hot” lasers are performed. For years, photocoagulation was the only treatment available for wet AMD.

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Revolutionary new X-ray treatment that could save the sight of thousands

March 12, 2011

An X-ray treatment that could save the sight of thousands is being  trialled on the NHS.

Debilitating: The new treatment could rolled out in hospitals nationwide and could save the NHS up to £300million a year

The 15-minute procedure has been shown to halt wet age-related macular degeneration, one of the most common forms of blindness in the elderly.

Around 250,000 suffer from this  debilitating condition which, if not treated, can cause loss of sight in just three months.

But early trials of the new procedure in Mexico and the UK have shown that it could halt the progression of the condition immediately, saving the UK NHS £300million  a year.

The trials on 60 people in Mexico showed that half did not need any more treatment while the remainder needed infrequent injections – only a few each year.

Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-1365194/Revolutionary-new-X-ray-treatment-save-sight-thousands.html#ixzz1GP5h0xYB

Bayer and Regeneron Say VEGF Trap-Eye Improves Treatment of Wet AMD

January 22, 2011

Bayer HealthCare and Regeneron Pharmaceuticals say that two Phase III studies testing VEGF Trap-Eye (aflibercept ophthalmic solution) in wet age-related macular degeneration (AMD) met the primary endpoint of statistical noninferiority in the proportion of patients who maintained (or improved) vision over 52 weeks compared to ranibizumab (Lucentis).

The goal of these studies was to demonstrate that VEGF Trap-Eye could improve vision and maintain this improvement over time with a more convenient every-other-month dose. Patients receiving VEGF Trap-Eye 2 mg monthly achieved a statistically significant greater mean improvement in visual acuity at week 52 versus baseline (secondary endpoint) compared to ranibizumab (Lucentis) 0.5 mg monthly.

Further results will be presented at the Angiogenesis Conference in February 2011. Bayer and Regeneron are planning to submit regulatory applications in Europe and the U.S. in the first half of 2011 based on the positive results of these two trials.



Retinal Disease Treatments for Elders Doubled Over 10 Years

January 9, 2011

MONDAY, Oct. 11, 2010 (HealthDay News) — The number of older Americans undergoing treatment for retinal conditions such as age-related macular degeneration (AMD) and diabetic retinopathy nearly doubled between 1997 and 2007, with a significant shift in the types of procedures being performed, a new study has found.

The largest increase in volume was seen in treatments for neovascular, or “wet,” AMD. New treatments for this condition include intravitreal therapy — drug injections directly into the eye — of antibodies that block the formation of new blood vessels. Between 1997 and 2001, fewer than 5,000 such injections were performed each year, but rates more than doubled each year through 2006. In 2007, there were 812,413 such injections, the study authors noted in a news release from the journal’s publisher.

The use of photodynamic therapy — a laser treatment for neovascular AMD — peaked at 133,565 procedures in 2004 and then decreased 83 percent to 22,675 procedures in 2007. Laser treatment of potentially cancerous eye tumors and the “wet” form of AMD decreased from a peak of 82,089 in 1999 to 13,821 in 2007 (another 83 percent decrease), the researchers found.

Among the other findings:

  • Use of vitrectomy — surgery to remove the gel inside the eye in order to treat retinal detachment — increased 72 percent between 1997 and 2007.
  • The use of scleral buckling — placement of a silicon buckle around the eye — to treat retinal detachment decreased 69 percent between 1997 and 2007.