For far too long, individuals diagnosed with dry macular degeneration were faced with a daunting reality — there were essentially no cures and most treatment options were experimental. This degenerative condition of the eyes, which leads to progressive loss of vision, seemed to defy medical advancements, leaving patients in a disheartening situation.
However, the landscape of this condition has dramatically changed as of late when the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) gave its approval for a new treatment specifically targeting dry macular degeneration. So, what is the latest treatment for dry macular?
Pegcetacoplan, sold under the brand name Syfovre™, is a new treatment approved by the FDA. It’s a shot given inside the eye that might help slow down the worsening of geographic atrophy, a condition caused by advanced dry AMD.
But Syfovre™ isn’t the only new treatment for macular degeneration. Here’s what you need to know about the new dry AMD injections.
Can you stop the progression of dry macular degeneration?
Unfortunately, there is currently no cure for dry macular degeneration. However, the latest treatment options have shown promising results in slowing down the progression of this condition and preserving vision for longer.
For this reason, the earlier you see your ophthalmologist for common signs of macular degeneration, the earlier you can get a diagnosis and the more effective these treatments can be. Routine eye exams that include the Amsler eye grid test are crucial in catching this condition early on and starting treatment as soon as possible.
Once diagnosed, some of the common options for treatment include:
- Pharmacologic therapy treatments including Macugen, Lucentis, Avastin, and Visudyne Photodynamic Therapy
- Laser treatment
- Low-dose radiation therapy
- Submacular surgery
- RPE transplant
- Macular translocation surgery
- Artificial vision
These were some of the only treatment options until the end of 2023. As we mentioned above, groundbreaking research has led to the approval of several new drugs for macular degeneration treatment, offering patients more options than ever before.
New treatments for dry macular degeneration
Let’s explore some of the most recent and promising treatments for dry macular degeneration that are revolutionizing the way ophthalmologists approach this condition.
Syfovre™, a product of Apellis Pharmaceuticals, represents a significant breakthrough in the management of dry AMD, with its active ingredient Pegcetacoplan designed to halt the disease’s progression.
This innovative treatment, administered through intraocular injection either monthly or bimonthly, has proven its efficacy in the treatment of geographic atrophy, a catastrophic outcome of age-related macular degeneration.
Safety and effectiveness validated by clinical trials
The safety and effectiveness of Syfovre™ were confirmed in two Phase III clinical trials. In these randomized, double-masked, sham-controlled trials, patients showed a significant reduction in macular lesions upon receiving the Pegcetacoplan injection either monthly or bimonthly, with more promising results seen in the monthly treatment group.
Two different trials, one involving 637 patients and another with 621 participants, both with advanced dry AMD, demonstrated the slowing of lesion growth in the macula. The more frequently administered treatment showed marginally better outcomes, further confirming the drug’s potential to slow the disease’s progression.
The investigations reveal that the effectiveness of Pegcetacoplan increases over time. It not only decelerates the disease but also helps prevent further retinal degeneration. The emergence of Syfovre™ marks a significant milestone in the tireless efforts of doctors for macular degeneration to tackle this intricate disease and for patients whose quality of life has been affected by the vision loss that comes with geographic atrophy.
Avacincaptad Pegol (IZERVAY™)
At the end of 2023, the FDA approved yet another new treatment for macular degeneration known as IZERVAY™, formerly Zimura®. This drug, developed by Iveric Bio, provides yet another promising treatment option for the late-stage outcome of dry AMD known as geographic atrophy.
The active ingredient in IZERVAY™ is called Avacincaptad Pegol, which selectively blocks a protein called C5 that has been found to cause retinal cell damage in dry AMD. By doing so, it has the potential to slow down the progress of the disease and prevent further vision loss. It is the only therapeutical option on the market that can help protect healthy retinal cells by blocking the C5 protein.
IZERVAY™ is administered as an intraocular injection, given once every three months. This schedule offers patients a more convenient approach to managing their condition, compared to other treatments that require monthly injections.
Safety and effectiveness validated by clinical trials
Izervay’s effectiveness was demonstrated in rigorous clinical trials involving over 700 patients. The data from these trials showed a significant slowing of geographic atrophy progression by between 18-35% in one year in patients treated with IZERVAY™ when compared to those who were not treated.
In addition to its primary benefits, Izervay has also been reported to be well tolerated by most patients. Some of the most common side effects include blurred vision, eye pain, and mild eye inflammation – all of which are manageable under the supervision of healthcare professionals.
Want to learn more about the newest dry macular degeneration treatments? Contact Eye Center of Texas today!
For those with loved ones or personal diagnoses of macular degeneration who constantly find themselves asking, “Are there any new treatments for dry macular degeneration?” We are overjoyed to tell you that yes, there are! So, what are the latest treatments for dry macular?
In 2023, the FDA approved two new drug options for patients suffering from the symptoms of dry AMD: Pegcetacoplan (Syfovre™) and Avacincaptad Pegol (IZERVAY™). The introduction of these drugs into the market represents a significant step forward in the field of ophthalmology and the fight against AMD.
With the continuous advancements in research and technology, we can only expect more innovative treatments to emerge in the future and Eye Center of Texas is here to ensure that our patients continue to have access to the best possible care options.
Whether you’re suffering from symptoms of wet vs. dry macular degeneration, are facing other macular conditions and need to explore macular pucker surgery, or are wondering if you’re a good candidate for either of these new treatments for macular degeneration, the ophthalmologists at Eye Center of Texas are here for you.
Contact us online to schedule an appointment at one of our locations in Houston/Bellaire, Pasadena, Sugar Land, Clear Lake, Katy, or The Woodlands/Conroe today!
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