New Treatments Macular Degeneration

Dr. Kisling Eye Diseases, Macular Degeneration Leave a Comment

New Treatments of Macular Degeneration


A new treatment for macular degeneration is being tested by  a group of researchers led by Dr. Sai H. Chavala, a retinal specialist at the University of North Carolina.

New Treatments Macular Degneration

Macular Degneration | National Eye Institute

MDM2  are proteins that are coded by the MDM2 gene. These proteins decrease the activity of tumor suppressor protein 53 (p53). P53 has a number of important functions in preventing cancer. It helps damaged DNA repair and slows the cell reproduction until repairs are accomplished. It also can cause the damaged cells to die when the damage is irreparable. There is a down regulation of new blood vessel growth upon which all cancers are dependent (anti-angiogenic).

The researchers used MDM2 inhibitors to decrease the MDM2 proteins and thus increase the activity of the tumor suppressor proteins. It appears they used compounds referred to as Nutlins as the inhibitors. Cells lines from the  blood vessels in the eyes retina and mice with induced macular degeneration  were used in a study to test the effects of the Nutlins. The results indicate that this has potential in the future to be one of the new treatments of macular degeneration.

Dr. Chavala has several patents through his company,  SERRATA, LLC, to commercialize the development of this process as a treatment for macular degeneration and as a method of diagnosing and treating various conditions of the eyes, heart, and other health problems.


Current Treatment of Wet Macular Degeneration


Current treatment of the aggressive wet form of macular degeneration is dependent on repeated injections of compounds that inhibit new blood vessel growth, the anti-VEGF drugs Avastin, Lucentis, and Eylea. These drugs require injections into the eye every one to two months over time and they work indirectly by lowering factors that cause new blood vessels to proliferate.

MDM2 inhibitors are more of a direct route of treatment and hopefully will require less frequent dosing. The patents cover injections, implants, eye drops, pills, and other routes of administration so it is not clear how the proposed treatment will be applied. Even if injections are used, lessening the frequency is very desirable in terms of acceptance by patients and in  lowering complications.

Clinical Trials For New Treatments Macular Degeneration

Numerous clinical trials are underway for various new treatments  macular degeneration. At present, there are no announced clinical trials for MDM2 inhibitors in ocular diseases. I expect to see them started in the next year or two. There are several clinical trials underway on MDM2 inhibitors for the treatment of different forms of cancer so when this eye treatment enters clinical trials it potentially could move a little faster. This will be good research to watch for the future but it will be awhile before we know if it will join actually join the future in the new treatments of macular degeneration

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