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A group of experts in dry age-related macular degeneration and the geographic atrophy (GA) that often results discussed
the prospects for two investigative treatments now in Phase III trials: Apellis’ pegcetacoplan and Iveric Bio’s Zimura.
If approved, these therapies would potentially slow lesion growth and preserve vision in patients with GA. Because these treatments require monthly or bimonthly injections, they may also dramatically increase workloads for already overtaxed retina specialists.
David Boyer, MD, of Retina Vitreous Associates Medical Group, said that retina specialists will adapt. Tarek Hassan, MD, partner and director of vitreoretinal training at Associated Retinal Consultants, agreed, noting that the current working model will have to change. “If we think we’re helping our patients, we’ll figure it out,” he said.
For better or worse, the rollout of these new agents could be gradual. New-onset exudation has been observed in both pegcetacoplan and Zimura. This may spook some physicians, the panel noted, and they’ll take a watch-and-wait approach. Even so, it’s an exciting development for a challenging condition.
Other panelists include Erin Henry, PhD, executive director, head of ophthalmology, NGM Biopharmaceuticals; J. Jill Hopkins, MD, SVP and global head, ophthalmology development unit at Novartis; and Caroline R. Baumal, MD, professor of ophthalmology, codirector of retina service at New England Eye Center, Tufts Medical Center, Boston.
Listen to the podcast today to hear our panel of retina experts discuss these and other questions related to dry AMD and GA treatment:
• Who are the ideal candidates for the forthcoming therapies from Iveric Bio and Apellis?
• How do you convince asymptomatic GA patients to initiate and continue treatment?
• How will artificial intelligence play a role in building a case for these therapies?
• Why do some patients with GA experience exudation?
• How do researchers determine clinical endpoints for GA? How does foveal center point involvement play a role?
• How do retina specialists decide on a proper treatment path?
• What therapies, drug-delivery platforms, and/or technologies on the horizon are you excited about?
Click “play” to listen.