In recognition of age-related macular degeneration (AMD) awareness month in February 2024, Ocuphire Pharma Inc is at the forefront of advancing treatment options for this progressive degenerative eye disease. AMD, primarily affecting individuals over the age of 50, is the leading cause of visual impairment and blindness in the developed world. As the population ages, the prevalence of AMD is expected to rise sharply, with estimates suggesting that up to 22 million individuals in the United States and 288 million globally will be affected by the condition by 2050.
The disease, which damages the macula – the central area of the retina responsible for central vision – manifests in various forms, including geographic atrophy (GA) and intermediate AMD. Despite a severe impact on quality of life, there are currently no approved drug treatments for dry AMD or GA, underscoring the urgent need for innovative solutions.
Ocuphire Pharma Inc, a pioneering company in ophthalmic pharmaceuticals, is developing a range of potential treatments aimed at addressing the significant unmet needs in AMD management. The company’s focus spans anti-vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) therapy, gene therapy, ocular tissue transplantation and novel systemic treatments, highlighting its comprehensive approach to combatting this debilitating condition.
Ocuphire’s engagement in anti-VEGF therapy aligns with the standard care for severe forms of wet AMD, utilising drugs such as Lucentis® (ranibizumab), EYLEA® (aflibercept) and Avastin® (bevacizumab) to inhibit vascular endothelial growth factors that contribute to abnormal blood vessel growth and leakage.
Recognising the potential of gene therapy, Ocuphire is exploring this avenue for its long-term benefits, particularly for conditions requiring sustained treatment. This method, often delivered through subretinal injection, promises a revolutionary approach to treating AMD at its genetic roots.
Beyond localised treatments, Ocuphire is pioneering the development of systemic therapies, including APX3330, which offers the dual benefits of treating both eyes simultaneously while maintaining a favourable safety profile. Alongside oral agents and other innovative therapies, this approach is part of Ocuphire’s mission to provide comprehensive care for AMD patients.
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Ocuphire Pharma Inc’s commitment to advancing AMD treatment is a beacon of hope for millions affected by the condition worldwide. As the company progresses in its research and development efforts, the potential to slow disease progression, restore vision, and improve the quality of life for those with AMD becomes increasingly tangible. Age-related macular degeneration awareness month serves as a crucial reminder of the ongoing challenges and the imperative for continued innovation in the field of ophthalmology. Ocuphire Pharma Inc stands at the cutting edge of this effort, paving the way for a future where AMD no longer means inevitable vision loss.