A Novel Treatment Strategy to Target the Underlying Causes of Both the Wet and Dry Forms of AMD

Yingbin Fu, PhD Baylor College of Medicine


Age-related macular degeneration (AMD) is a disease that blurs the sharp, central vision you need for everyday activities, such as seeing faces, reading, sewing, and driving. Advanced AMD can be classified into the dry form (gradual breakdown of the light-sensitive cells in the macula) and the wet form (leaky blood vessels growing under the retina). The current treatment for wet AMD is suboptimal, while there is no treatment available for dry AMD. We propose to develop a novel and effective treatment for both the wet and dry forms of AMD by using a protein called AIBP (apolipoprotein A-I binding protein).

Project Details

Age-related macular degeneration (AMD) can be classified into the wet and the dry form. The dry form accounts for 85 percent of all AMD and is characterized by the accumulation of drusen (lipid-rich cellular debris, or “garbage”) beneath the retinal pigmented epithelium (RPE), the layer of cells that nourishes and supports the light-sensing photoreceptors. Wet AMD can be treated by regular injections of anti-vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) reagents, whereas no effective treatments are available for dry AMD. Even for the wet form, multiple clinical trials have shown that long-term visual outcomes of anti-VEGF monotherapy are suboptimal. Thus, there is a pressing need to develop effective treatment for both forms of AMD. The objective of this project is to develop a highly innovative and effective treatment strategy to target the underlying causes of both the wet and dry forms of AMD. Specifically, we plan to develop novel agents that are capable of inhibiting the abnormal growth of blood vessels in the eye for treating wet AMD, and reducing drusen formation for treating the AMD. This project is highly innovative because it introduces a new concept in AMD treatment by targeting the causes of both the wet and dry AMD simultaneously. Currently, no other single treatment can achieve this. This research has the potential to guide the development of a new generation of therapy for AMD.