Scientists are one step closer to developing an eye drop that could revolutionize treatment for wet age-related macular degeneration (wAMD). The condition is currently treated by injections of anti-VEGF drugs into the eye. Eye drops have been tested successfully in rats, but scientists have now investigated the effect of eye drops in the larger eyes of rabbits and pigs, which are more similar to human eyes.
This latest study, published in Investigative Ophthalmology & Visual Science (IOVS), demonstrates that the eye drops can deliver a therapeutically effective amount of the drugs to the retina of the larger mammalian eye. Pending patents for the eye drops are now owned by U.S. based company, Macregen, Inc. A team of U.K. researchers at the University of Birmingham Institute of Microbiology and Infection is working with the company to develop a novel range of therapies for wet AMD and other eye diseases.
The combined team is expediting proof of concept studies to confirm the validity of the therapeutic approach. Upon completion of proof of concept studies, clinical trials could begin as early as Spring 2019.