New treatment age-related macular degeneration

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A new treatment for the retinal disease age-related macular degeneration (ARMD) is making progress in clinical trials. Macular degeneration is a disease that can cause blindness, leading to the loss of central vision as a result of damage to nerve cells in the region of the retina known as the macula. It is the most common cause of blindness in adults, except perhaps for cataracts. The new treatment — called VEGF Trap-Eye — was developed by Regeneron Pharmaceuticals. It must be injected into the eyes every eight weeks to inhibit the growth of new blood vessels, which are weak and can leak blood and serum into the retina, causing nerve cell damage. Trial results indicate that the experimental drug is at least as effective as the current standard treatment Lucentis, a similar drug developed by Genentech that has to be injected every four weeks.

ACSH's Dr. Gilbert Ross hopes that one day, future macular degeneration therapies will not require eye injections, but says he's happy to see that “more progress is being made to treat the most common form of retinal blindness.”