Neovascular Age-Related Macular Degeneration
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- Schiffelers, R.M., van der Vaart, T.K. & Storm, G. BioDrugs (2011) 25: 171. doi:10.2165/11589330-000000000-00000
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Age-related macular degeneration (AMD) is a condition that may cause blindness. The prevalence of the disease in the Western world is estimated at 1–2% of the population. Over the past decade, treatment of neovascular AMD has been shifting from destruction of newly formed blood vessels towards inhibitors that silence the vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) pathway. Such agents are often first-in-class biopharmaceuticals that benefit from the fact that they can be locally administered in an immune-privileged environment with slow clearance. These new VEGF pathway inhibitors have improved therapeutic effects over conventional treatment and have promoted the identification of novel targets for inhibition of AMD angiogenesis. This review describes the rationale behind the shift from conventional to current treatment options and discusses investigational, most notably biopharmaceutical, drugs that are in clinical trials. It also provides possible points for improvement of these treatments, specifically regarding their delivery.