Diabetic macular edema and wet age-related macular degeneration represent the number one cause of vision loss in America with 750,000 people age 40 and older facing diabetic macular edema; and wet age-related macular degeneration impacts over 1.6 million for those 50 and over in the United States. Blindness is an unfortunate consequence if left untreated.
Johns Hopkins-based researchers have developed a new compound called AXT107. Research involving lab-grown human cells and mice, reveal that the investigational drug may be exceptionally good at fighting vision loss. In fact, it stops abnormal blood vessels from leaking vision-impeding fluids. Previous investigations into the compound evidenced the preclusion of abnormal vessels in preclinical animal studies involving diabetic macular edema and wet age-related macular degeneration.
Presently, the standard of care involves monthly injections into the eye to impede new blood vessel growth. The constant injections represent a burden plus risks include infection and logistical concerns for patients. Investigators are seeking a superior treatment and perhaps AXT107 represents the answer. AXT107 provides a potentially more effective approach to treat these diseases. The Johns Hopkins researchers plan to test AXT107 peptide for safety and efficacy in a clinical research program with a focus first on diabetic edema in coming year.
Aleksander Popel, PhD, professor of biomedical engineering