This year was the Academy’s  126nd birthday. Our annual meeting was recently held in Chicago. I am proud to say that our Academy does an excellent job keeping us up-to-date with  vision  science and technology. There is also a tremendous amount of information on managing a  practice to help us provide the best care to our patients.

There were some exciting developments. I am keeping my eye on the company Apellis as they have a new treatment for geographic atrophy that is pending review with the FDA. Geographic atrophy is an advanced form of dry age-related macular degeneration where large patches of the retina in the macula drop out. This causes patchy loss of vision. There are approximately 5  million people worldwide that suffer from this and to date, there is no treatment. This disease is caused by excessive activation of the complement cascade which leads to destruction of healthy cells in the macula. The complement cascade when functioning normally helps  us to clear microbes and damaged cells from our body.. Apellis has created a drug called pegcetocoplan which targets and blocks part of the complement cascade  called C3. In the phase 3 studies, it was shown that the drug preserves function in high-risk areas of the retina in patients with this disease. The FDA will decide its fate by the end of November. It could revolutionize the management of patients with this disease.

I also had the opportunity to work with Eyepoint Pharmaceuticals. We are participating in their phase 2 trial that introduces a new drug for the treatment of wet or neovascular age-related macular degeneration.  The drug  called Eyp-101 blocks  tyrosine kinase. With this treatment, it is predicted that patients will go longer in between injections. We are presently enrolling into the study. If you are undergoing treatment for NVAMD, and are interested in participating, give us a call.