The annual meeting of the American Academy of Ophthalmology was held from Oct. 27 to 30 in Chicago and attracted approximately 6,000 participants from around the world, including ophthalmologists, optometrists, opticians, and other eye health care professionals. The conference featured presentations focusing on the latest advances in comprehensive eye care, including medical, surgical, and optical care.
In the phase II LADDER study, Carl D. Regillo, M.D., of the Wills Eye Hospital in Philadelphia, and colleagues evaluated the durability and safety of a new reservoir-based, sustained delivery device called the port delivery system (PDS) among patients with wet age-related macular degeneration (AMD). The PDS is implanted in the eye in the operating room and then is refilled using a special needle as needed in the office with a concentrated solution of the anti-vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) agent ranibizumab.
“An unmet need for wet AMD is to have the effect of anti-VEGF therapy last longer. Currently, we have to administer anti-VEGF drugs by an office-based intravitreal injection every four to eight weeks to control the disease adequately and get good visual outcomes,” Regillo said. “We found that the device exceeded our expectations in terms of duration of action. The median time to the first refill of the PDS in the office after implantation was 15 months in the high-concentration device arm of the study. Furthermore, the rate of adverse events was relatively low.”
A phase III trial is currently underway and results are expected in a couple of years.
“This device has the potential to significantly change how we treat wet AMD in the future,” Regillo concluded. “Less frequent office visits and treatments for our patients with wet AMD is not only more convenient; it also has the potential to minimize how often there is recurrent disease activity, which would maximize long-term visual outcomes.”
In another study, Sharon Fekrat, M.D., from Duke University in Durham, N.C., and colleagues used optical coherence tomography (OCT) angiography, a non-invasive imaging technology, to evaluate the small blood vessels in the retina to determine if there is a difference in patients with Alzheimer’s disease.
The investigators found that patients with Alzheimer’s disease had significantly reduced blood vessel density in their retina compared with patients with mild cognitive impairment and compared with healthy older adults.