A large-scale, collaborative, systems biology approach is needed to expedite the discovery of treatments for dry AMD—a leading cause of blindness among people 65 and older for which is there is no treatment—according to a report by a working group of scientists appointed by the National Advisory Eye Council (NAEC).
Precision medicine through clinical trials
Much like in patients with cancer, Handa et al. believe dry AMD can and should be treated through personalized, precision medicine. To do so, they advocate for individually tailoring computer models to assess a person’s potential risk for developing dry AMD, progression rate, and potential response to treatment.
For this to be effective, however, the group acknowledged that drugs must first be developed for the dry AMD population through robust clinical trials. They further recommend partnering with pharmaceutical companies to developing these trials, with patients followed closely long term.
Finally, patients with dry AMD should be encouraged to donate their eyes to science after they die to further research efforts.
With these efforts and approaches, Handa et al. hope to expedite the research and development of dry AMD treatments.
1. Wong WL, Su X, Li X, et al. Global prevalence of age-related macular degeneration and disease burden projection for 2020 and 2040: a systematic review and meta-analysis. The Lancet Global Health;2:e106-e116.
2. Handa JT, Bowes Rickman C, Dick AD, et al. A systems biology approach towards understanding and treating non-neovascular age-related macular degeneration. Nature communications 2019;10:3347.
3. REGENXBIO. REGENXBIO Announces Additional Positive Interim Phase I/IIa Trial Update for RGX-314 for the Treatment of Wet AMD at the American Academy of Ophthalmology 2019 Annual Meeting, 2019.
4. Grishanin R, Vuillemenot B, Sharma P, et al. Preclinical Evaluation of ADVM-022, a Novel Gene Therapy Approach to Treating Wet Age-Related Macular Degeneration. Molecular therapy : the journal of the American Society of Gene Therapy 2019;27:118-129.