New research is underway to develop additional treatments for both dry AMD and wet AMD. Several pharmaceutical companies are currently conducting trials of new drugs, while non-profit funders like the FFB and the Canadian Institutes of Health Research are working together to speed the translation of treatments from animal studies to human trials.
Learn more about:
The Foundation Fighting Blindness supports scientists who are making incredible advances in understanding and treating age-related macular degeneration. For example in 2009, Dr. Gilbert Bernier identified a gene that helps to control the aging of cells in the eyes and brain. This discovery may one day help us prevent conditions of aging like AMD, Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s. Learn more about this discovery.
Until that day, research on age-related macular degeneration continues, with the support of donors like you. FFB projects and partnerships help fund pre-clinical studies that make the development of new therapies possible. Here are three ongoing projects that your donations will help to support:
Creating combinations of treatment for AMD
In partnership with the Canadian Institutes of Health Research, the Foundation Fighting Blindness is supporting Dr. Kevin Gregory-Evans and a team of experts at the University of British Columbia. Each member of this team has already been working to create treatments that target one aspect of the process of vision loss. By combining their efforts they hope to create more effective combination therapies that can be delivered in a single dose. Learn more about this research team.
Preventing the Death of Vision Cells in the Eye
The FFB has also partnered with the Canadian Institutes of Health Research to support a team of researchers led by Dr. Catherine Tsilfidis at the Ottawa Health Research Institute. This team is exploring ways to slow or stop the death of photoreceptors (cells that capture light and allow us to see) in the retina of the eye. While such treatment would not correct the underlying problem that leads to vision loss, it might preserve sight for many years. The Tsilfidis team has already shown that this approach works to protect the vision of blinded mice. This team hopes to be ready for human clinical trials testing this treatment within five years. Learn more about therapies designed to slow cell death.
Producing New Cells to Restore Sight in Failing Eyes
Dr. Gilbert Bernier at the Maisonneuve-Rosemont Hospital is receiving FFB funding to explore the use of stem cells as AMD treatment. Stem cells are very simple cells that can become other, more complex, cells to replace photoreceptors damaged by AMD. He recently patented a process that is effective for transforming stem cells into adult eye cells. His current studies are using mice to test whether these newly created cells will be an effective treatment for AMD. He and his partners hope to begin clinical trials in the next few years.
Updated: Sept 15, 2010. This section has been reviewed by Dr. Peter Kertes, Associate Professor of Ophthalmology and Vision Sciences at the University of Toronto and Dr. William Stell, FFB Director of Research Programs and Professor of Ophthalmology at the University of Calgary.
|Learn more about AMD:|
|What is AMD?||Risk Factors for AMD|
|Early Detection||Early Detection|
|AMD Treatment||Frequently Asked Questions|
- Findings presented at the Annual Meeting of the American Society of Retinal Specialists, Sept 2010.
- Findings presented at the Annual Meeting of the Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology, May 2009.
- Desmet KD, et al. Clinical and experimental applications of NIR-LED photobiomodulation. Photomed Laser Surg. 2006 Apr;24(2):121-8.
- Karmel M. Dry AMD: Under Attack on Four Fronts. EyeNet, Sept. 2009.
- Mata NL, Vogel R. Pharmacologic treatment of atrophic age-related macular degeneration. Current Opinion in Ophthalmology 2010; 21:190-196.
- Ni Z, Hui P. Emerging pharmacologic therapies for wet age-related macular degeneration. Ophthalmologica. 2009;223(6):401-10.
- Clinical Trial Listing: Vascular Endothelial Growth Factor(VEGF)Trap-Eye:Investigation of Efficacy and Safety in Wet Age-Related Macular Degeneration(AMD) (VIEW 1).
- Clinical Trial Listing: Vascular Endothelial Growth Factor (VEGF) Trap-Eye: Investigation of Efficacy and Safety in Wet Age-Related Macular Degeneration (AMD) (VIEW 2)
- Clinical Trial Listing: Efficacy of Ranibizumab in Combination With Photodynamic Therapy for Wet Age-Related Macular Degeneration