Age-Related Macular Degeneration: A Journey From the Bench to the Clinic
Age-related macular degeneration (AMD) is the primary cause of vision loss in people over the age of 50. There are two forms of AMD, the wet or exudative form and the dry or atrophic form. The wet form comprises only 10% of AMD cases, but accounts for 90% of AMD-associated vision loss. Until relatively recently, there was no treatment for either form.
In collaboration with a team from Harvard Medical School, Dr. Patricia D'Amore's laboratory contributed to the fundamental research that led to the use of anti-vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) as the treatment for wet AMD, a therapy that is now in worldwide use. In spite of this success, there is no treatment for the dry or atrophic form of AMD. Scores of laboratories, biotechs and pharmaceutical companies are focused on developing a therapeutic for dry AMD, but in the absence of a clear understanding of the etiology of AMD, approaches to its treatment remain elusive.