Age-related macular degeneration (AMD) is a progressive disease affecting the retinal cells in the macula, the region of the eye responsible for central vision. Disease progression results in the death of retinal cells and the gradual loss of vision.
Wet AMD is an advanced form of AMD, affecting approximately 10% of patients living with AMD1. In patients with wet AMD, blood vessels begin to invade the space between layers of cells in the retina. These new blood vessels are often leaky, which results in fluid and blood in the retina and causes vision loss.
Wet AMD is a leading cause of vision loss in patients over 60 years of age, with a prevalence of approximately 1.2 million individuals in the U.S. and 3 million worldwide2. The incidence of new cases of wet AMD in the U.S. is approximately 150,000 to 200,000 annually, and this number is expected to grow significantly as the country’s population ages3,4.
Although the underlying molecular causes of wet AMD are not completely known, VEGF is known to play a central role in the growth of new blood vessels in wet AMD. The current standard-of-care therapies for wet AMD are proteins that bind VEGF and neutralize its activity. The standard-of-care therapies for wet AMD can be burdensome, as patients generally require chronic intravitreal injection of anti-VEGF protein every 4-12 weeks. Compliance with this regimen can be difficult for patients and their caregivers, leading to compliance deficiencies and loss of vision from underdosing.
- Bright Focus Foundation. Macular Degeneration Essential Facts. Available at: https://www.brightfocus.org/macular/article/age-related-macular-facts-figures
- Arch Ophthalmol. 2004;122(4):564-572. doi:10.1001/archopht.122.4.564
- Brown GC, Brown MM, Sharma S, et al. The Burden of Age-Related Macular Degeneration: A Value-Based Medicine Analysis. Transactions of the American Ophthalmological Society. 2005.
- California Retina Consultants. Advances in Wet AMD. Available at: https://www.californiaretina.com/advances-in-wet-amd/