The state-of-the-art pharmacotherapeutic management of neovascular age-related macular degeneration

Expert Opin Pharmacother. 2023 Feb;24(2):197-206. doi: 10.1080/14656566.2022.2154145. Epub 2022 Dec 5.


Introduction: Age-related macular degeneration (AMD) is a major cause of central visual loss in the developed world. Although the pathogenesis is not fully understood, vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) is considered the most important growth factor involved in angiogenesis and exudation in neovascular AMD eyes. Advances in anti-VEGF agents have changed the treatment approach for wet AMD, allowing better outcomes in visual acuity and retinal anatomy.

Areas covered: The present review describes the main pharmacological and clinical characteristics of anti-VEGF drugs, focusing firstly on the molecules commonly in use and then on the new candidate therapies. We performed a comprehensive literature search using the PubMed database from 1 January 1993 to 1 June 2022, with search terms including anti-VEGF, biosimilar, neovascular macular degeneration, AMD, and safety.

Expert opinion: The management of AMD is still onerous for both the physician and patient due to the great number of required injections. Current research is underway to resolve not only the economic burden but also the discomfort of patients, aiming to develop a drug with a different or a multiple target, increasing the potency whilst maintaining a good safety profile. Furthermore, clinical research is currently investigating different forms of drug administration.

Keywords: Age-related macular degeneration; anti-VEGF; neovascularization; therapy.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Angiogenesis Inhibitors* / adverse effects
  • Humans
  • Intravitreal Injections
  • Ranibizumab / therapeutic use
  • Vascular Endothelial Growth Factor A
  • Visual Acuity
  • Wet Macular Degeneration* / drug therapy


  • Angiogenesis Inhibitors
  • Vascular Endothelial Growth Factor A
  • Ranibizumab