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Gene therapy offers hope for wet AMD sufferers

Gene therapy offers hope for wet AMD sufferers

Monday 21 October 2019

New gene therapy treatment for wet age-related macular degeneration is showing promise, a new report has revealed.

The pioneering treatment has, so far, allowed six patients with wet AMD to go at least six months without the need for continued injections. Usually AMD sufferers need to receive injections every four to six weeks to limit the progression of the condition.

In this revolutionary treatment, genetic material is inserted into cells in the eye. The genetic material then produces medication called aflibercept, which is used to treat wet AMD and will effectively start to heal the eye, potentially removing the need for further injections.

Dr. Szilárd Kiss is the lead investigator of the study and director of clinical research and chief of the retina service in the department of ophthalmology at Weill Cornell Medical College. He stated;

“There’s a tremendous treatment burden with respect to our patients with wet AMD, many require 10-plus injections per year for their lifetime in order to maintain vision. With this new in-office intravitreal gene therapy, there is potential for a ‘one-and-done’ approach that can not only completely alleviate that treatment burden, but perhaps result in improved visual outcomes.”

Receiving numerous injections can be daunting, and sometimes even painful to patients. This can then lead to patients not sticking to their treatment plans and experiencing worse outcomes.

An additional benefit to the new gene therapy is helping patients to attend fewer doctors’ appointments. Due to vision loss caused by AMD, many people simply rely on other people to transport them to their doctors’ appointments. If the gene therapy is successful, it may encourage more patients to stick to their treatment plans as they regain their vision quicker than existing methods.

Age-related macular degeneration (AMD) is one of the most common eye conditions in the World. AMD is one of the leading causes of vision loss and blindness, with roughly 39,000 people developing AMD every year in the UK alone.


  1. Health Line.
  2. NICE.
  3. Science Daily.



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  • Bob Crochelt
    22 Oct 2019

    I live in the USA. I wonder if this will be approved here, and how much it will cost. Sounds like promising work.

  • Sally Hunt
    20 Dec 2019

    Is there any hope of this treatment becoming standard UK eye clinics in thee near future? As someone receiving regular injections and relying on my elderly husband to drive me to the hospital (or making the journey on 3 separate buses), it sounds a wonderful alternative.

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