Drugs in Phase II clinical trials for the treatment of age-related macular degeneration

Expert Opin Investig Drugs. 2015 Feb;24(2):183-99. doi: 10.1517/13543784.2015.961601. Epub 2014 Sep 22.


Introduction: The clinical development of anti-VEGF therapies for the treatment of exudative age-related macular degeneration (wet AMD) has revolutionized ophthalmology. Indeed, it has provided clinicians and patients with treatments that lessen visual loss from in a disease that once was uniformly blinding. Although blindness is yet to be eradicated from AMD, repeated intraocular anti-VEGF injections are required to preserve a patient's vision. Therefore, further advances in this field are necessary.

Areas covered: This review provides an overview of the agents that are in mid-stage phase trials for both exudative (wet AMD) and nonexudative macular degeneration (dry AMD). For wet AMD, new agents intend to enhance efficacy, develop alternative delivery such as eye drops, investigate alternate targets and construct sustained release strategies. For advanced dry AMD, the goal is to develop a strategy to slow or stop progressive loss of retinal tissue seen in geographic atrophy, the hallmark of advanced dry AMD.

Expert opinion: It is important to develop better more sensitive biomarkers, validating different approvable clinical trial endpoints and stratifying patients on their genetic polymorphisms. These developments should help to progress the already rapidly developing field of macular degeneration therapy.

Keywords: VEGF; aflibrecept; age related macular degeneration; bevacizumab; complement; fovista; gene therapy; geographic atrophy; ranibizumab.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Biomarkers / metabolism
  • Clinical Trials, Phase II as Topic
  • Disease Progression
  • Drug Design*
  • Humans
  • Macular Degeneration / drug therapy*
  • Macular Degeneration / physiopathology
  • Vascular Endothelial Growth Factor A / antagonists & inhibitors
  • Wet Macular Degeneration / drug therapy*
  • Wet Macular Degeneration / physiopathology


  • Biomarkers
  • Vascular Endothelial Growth Factor A