Experimental Drug May Simplify Macular Degeneration Treatment

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Experimental Drug May Simplify Macular Degeneration Treatment
Experimental Drug May Simplify Macular Degeneration Treatment

THURSDAY, Jan. 19, 2017 (HealthDay News) -- An experimental drug, AXT107, may one day make treatment simpler for patients with age-related macular degeneration, according to research published in the Jan. 18 issue of Science Translational Medicine.

"We anticipate injection of AXT107 in humans may have a substantially longer effect than current treatment," lead researcher Peter Campochiaro, M.D., a professor of ophthalmology at the Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, told HealthDay. "Instead of eye injections every four to six weeks, we hope it would be several months between injections."

The drug test in rabbits lasted only two months, but the drug appeared both safe and effective, Campochiaro said. But the injections of AXT107 in animals lasted twice as long as the usual drugs, such as aflibercept (Eylea). Aflibercept prevents blood vessel growth by blocking vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF). AXT107 also targets VEGF and three other factors that promote blood vessel growth, Campochiaro said. Moreover, AXT107 forms a gel within the eye, which allows it to be released over several months, reducing the number of eye injections patients need to control the disease.

"AXT107 may provide a way to get as good or better effects as patients are getting with current treatment, but with fewer visits and injections," Campochiaro said.

Several authors disclosed financial ties to biopharmaceutical companies, including AsclepiX Therapeutics.

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