Bayer HealthCare announced that its latest VEGF Trap-Eye – Aflibercept has been approved by the Lebanese Ministry of Health for the treatment of patients with neovascular (wet) age-related macular degeneration (wet AMD).
Age-related macular degeneration (AMD) is one of the most common causes of blindness in old people. This disease occurs when, with increasing age, metabolic waste is no longer eliminated from the eye but instead accumulates in the macula, the part of the retina responsible for sharp vision, which is crucial e.g. for reading or driving a car, This accumulation leads to a slow breakdown of the photoreceptor cells – called dry macular degeneration.
In ten to fifteen percent of AMD patients, dry AMD develops into wet AMD. In this form of the disease, new abnormal blood vessels grow under the retina. These vessels are leaky so that blood and fluid seep into the retinal tissue, the resulting edema destroys the retinal texture and impacts the function of the photoreceptor cells.
Wet AMD is by far the more aggressive form of the disease, because it takes only weeks to months to cause irreparable loss of vision.
Without treatment, the patient will perceive all items in the center of his or her vision as blurred or distorted. In the end, the patient will see faces, objects or writing only as a black spot.
“The approval of the new treatment in Lebanon is great news for the increasing number of patients suffering from wet AMD, a sight threatening eye condition,” said Dr Haytham, Salti, Representative of the Lebanese Ophthalmological Society.
“We are looking forward to providing this new treatment which allows dosing every other month following three initial monthly injections in wet AMD patients in Lebanon and the Middle East very soon as well,” added Dr. Salti.
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