New Treatment for Dry AMD

Following major advances in the treatment of wet AMD, researchers at CRRF and around the world are now focusing their attention on treating AMD at earlier stages of the disease process. Genentech, maker of Avastin and Lucentis, is developing a novel inhibitor of Factor D (a protein involved in complement activation and inflammation) for treatment of geographic atrophy,a major cause of vision loss in dry AMD.Dr. Pieramici, the principal investigator, led The California Retina Consultants’ efforts in a Phase 1 FDA trial of this drug. Working in conjunction with other top eye institutions, including Johns Hopkins Wilmer Eye Institute, Harvard and Duke Universities, investigators hypothesize that inhibiting the complement system as discussed above might retard the progression of cellular and visual loss, and prevent the progression to more advanced stages of AMD. Dr. Avery presented the initial results at the Retina Society’s annual meeting this past fall in San Francisco. He comments, “The purpose of the Phase 1 study was to test and identify any safety issues associated with the new treatment, and we are pleased to report that the drug passed this first phase successfully,leaving us very hopeful.” Enrollment for Phase 2 of this study is underway.