Optigo Bio's Therapy
With the aim of reducing barriers to Macular Degeneration treatments, Optigo Bio is developing a truly novel therapy.
Wet AMD Therapy
Optigo Bio is developing a unique biological therapy to deliver highly persistent and long-lasting anti-vascular endothelial growth factor (anti-VEGF) to the retina, with a goal of enhancing the molecule’s residence period within the eye from the current average of 1 to 3 months, to 12 months. Optigo Bio aims to significantly improve treatment adoption, while reducing the patient drop-out rates.
Similar to Wet AMD, when diabetes affects the eye, Diabetic Retinopathy may occur. As blood sugar levels rise, blood vessels within the retina may rupture and bleed or leak fluid into the eye. This may lead to visible blind spots. As the disease progresses, new abnormal blood vessels begin to grow on the damaged blood vessels. Eventually, these abnormal blood vessels, stimulated by the hormone VEGF, will begin to push up against the macula and may cause the macula to shift and become edematous, leading to blurred vision, deteriorating color perception and the appearance of distinct blind spots in the affected eye’s central vision.
Optigo Bio’s AMD therapy will also be suitable to treat diabetic retinopathy by blocking the VEGF hormone and preventing re-growth during the molecule’s residence period.
What is Wet Macular Degeneration?
To understand what Wet (or Neovascular) Macular Degeneration is, it is important to understand the macula and its function.
The macula is responsible for sharp, central vision. It resides at the back of the retina, and is comprised of several million light sensing cells that capture light and relay the information to the optic nerve, which transmits the image information to the brain. When the macula becomes damaged, the receptivity of its cells is compromised and leads to deterioration in vision.
Wet Macular Degeneration is one of two kinds of age-related Macular Degeneration (AMD).
The wet form of this chronic disease often stems from the dry form and is more aggressive.
When wet Macular Degeneration occurs, it causes blurred vision and eventually blind spots, especially in central vision, of either one or both eyes, leading to permanent blindness in most patients if left untreated.
Wet Macular Degeneration occurs when abnormal blood vessels begin to grow in the retina and spread toward the macula, a small, central segment of the retina. As they grow, the abnormal blood vessels rupture, causing fluid leakage and bleeding that damages and shifts the macula from its base. As a result of these events, vision is affected almost instantaneously and deteriorates rapidly as the abnormal blood vessels continue to grow and bleed.
Who can Wet Macular Degeneration affect?
While age-related Macular Degeneration is most prevalent in populations over the age of 60, it should be noted that Macular Degeneration may occur earlier. There are other instances that may influence susceptibility to Macular Degeneration:
Age-related Macular Degeneration can be hereditary and can be traced to genetics.
The risk of age-related Macular Degeneration may be doubled in smokers.
Caucasians have a higher likelihood of being susceptible to age-related Macular Degeneration than other ethnic groups
The symptoms of Wet Macular Degeneration often propagate abruptly and tend to escalate rapidly. The symptoms of Wet Macular Degeneration include distortion in vision in some or all of the following manners:
Sudden appearance of blurred spots in central vision of one or both eyes
Constant and rapid degradation of vision, with possible blind spot(s) in vision
Straight lines may appear bent or distorted
Reduction in color perception, with a drop in color saturation
Macular Degeneration Treatments
While there is no cure for Wet Macular Degeneration, there are some treatments and therapies available.
Retinal Injections, the most common and popular treatment, which involves an injection of anti-angiogenic medication into the affected eye(s). These medications work to prevent new, abnormal blood vessels from developing underneath the retina and prevent them from leaking. This form of therapy has been credited with restoring vision lost to age-related Macular Degeneration.
However, this involves delivery of these injections, at least once every few months in perpetuity in an attempt to prevent further vision loss from Wet AMD.
These treatments can be intrusive and expensive and are exceptionally burdensome on both patients and their caregivers.
Our novel treatment in development aims to counter the effects of age-related Macular Degeneration, diabetic retinopathy, and other neovascular diseases of the retina and will be designed to be delivered once a year. With all the benefits of anti-angiogenic injections that prevent further Macular Degeneration, and restore vision lost to Macular Degeneration, Optigo Bio’s Macular Degeneration therapy offers unrivaled innovation.
Learn more about Optigo Bio's therapies: Click Here.