Working on a Treatment for Age-related Macular Degeneration

Research Description

Age-related macular degeneration (AMD) is an eye disease that causes blindness if not treated. The most common form of this disease is “wet” AMD.

The main cause of AMD is the abnormal growth of blood vessels under the center of the retina in the eye. It causes bleeding and eventually the loss of vision. The current treatment for AMD is the injection of pure drug solution, called antiangiogenic agents, into the eye through a syringe and needle. Because the body is able to clean these drugs out of the eye very quickly. Therefore, the injections are repeated every month.

Phases

We want to make it easier for the patients so we created a material called “reverse thermal gel” (RTG). It dissolves in water. However, when injected into the eye, it turns to gel. When we combine the antiangiogenic agents with reverse thermal gel it keeps the medicines in the eye for a longer period of time. This should slow the growth of the abnormal blood vessels and require fewer eye injections for the patients—two very good things!

Final goal