Advances in Macular Degeneration From AAO 2021

Sunir Garg, MD


December 06, 2021

Several studies presented at the American Academy of Ophthalmology 2021 meeting reported on wet macular degeneration therapies that may extend the time between treatments while preserving vision comparably to monthly injections, the current standard of care, according to Dr Sunir Garg of Wills Eye Hospital in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

Dr Garg highlights a multicountry study that assessed the degree of vision setback among patients who missed in-office eye injections during the pandemic. Patients in countries with stringent lockdowns, such as Italy and Spain, experienced moderate loss (> 1 letter), whereas in such countries as Australia and France, vision loss was milder (≤ 1 letter).

Next, Dr Garg reviews phase 3 data on a recently approved surgically implantable port delivery system that is filled twice yearly with ranibizumab, yielding virtually identical visual acuity outcomes compared with monthly injections of the same drug. He discusses refinements to the surgical technique involved and the occurrence of endophthalmitis in some patients.

Dr Garg then comments on faricimab, also under FDA review, which compared favorably with aflibercept every 8 weeks in phase 3 data. The dosing interval for faricimab was every 12 or 16 weeks.

Dr Garg also reviews 2-year results of a phase 1/2a study of single dose subretinal RGX-314 gene therapy, which converts the body's own cells into anti-VEGF producers, resulting in a 70% reduction in need for in-office injections.


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