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New Pharmacologic Approaches to Therapy for Age-Related Macular Degeneration

Authors
  • Eter, Nicole1
  • Krohne, Tim U.1
  • Holz, Frank G.1
  • 1 University of Bonn Medical Center, Department of Ophthalmology, Ernst-Abbe-Str. 2, Bonn, 53127, Germany , Bonn (Germany)
Type
Published Article
Journal
BioDrugs
Publisher
Springer International Publishing
Publication Date
May 01, 2006
Volume
20
Issue
3
Pages
167–179
Identifiers
DOI: 10.2165/00063030-200620030-00004
Source
Springer Nature
Keywords
License
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Abstract

As a result of a better understanding of molecular mechanisms, a variety of new Pharmacologic treatments have recently been developed for patients with age-related macular degeneration (AMD). Efficacy and tolerability have been demonstrated for drugs targeting vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF), a key player in the pathogenesis of choroidal neovascularization. Both pegaptanib (anti-VEGF aptamer) and ranibizumab (anti-VEGF antibody fragment), applied at 4- to 6-week intervals into the vitreous, modified the natural course of the disease in phase III clinical studies. Corticosteroids with anti-angiogenic properties also represent a treatment option for wet AMD. Both intravitreal triamcinolone and anecortave acetate, administered juxtasclerally, are currently being pursued. The combination of different treatment strategies and potential synergistic effects offers new perspectives. While photodynamic therapy (PDT) combined with intravitreal triamcinolone is already frequently applied, other combinations (e.g. anti-VEGF drugs with PDT or antifibrotic agents) appear to be attractive alternatives. Pigment epithelium-derived factor represents another potential target, as well as inhibitors of matrix-metalloproteinases. With the advent of gene therapy, the use of small interfering RNA (siRNA) is also on the horizon. Prophylactic measures are still limited. The combination of vitamins C and E, β-carotene, and zinc as used in the AREDS (Age-Related Eye Disease Study) reduces risk for conversion from early- to late-stage disease in patients with high-risk features, at least to some extent. Lutein and zeaxanthin dietary supplements for improvement of macular pigment density need to be investigated in future longitudinal trials.

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