About age-related macular degeneration and uveitis

Uveitis is the inflammation of the uveal tract (iris, ciliary body and choroid), but can also cause inflammation of nearby tissues, such as the retina, the optic nerve and the vitreous humor. General vision problems, floaters-spots in the eye, eye pain and redness, photophobia, headache, small pupil, alteration of iris color are common symptoms. If left untreated, uveitis can lead to severe eye problems, including blindness, cataracts, glaucoma, damage to the optic nerve, and detachment of the retina. In non-infectious uveitis there is a need for new therapies to avoid the abundant complications of long-term corticosteroid use.

Age-related macular degeneration (AMD) is caused by damage to the macula or retina, which results in blurred or loss of vision in the center of the visual field and the leading cause of blindness in the Western world. In the neovascular AMD, the “wet” form of advanced AMD (wAMD), abnormal blood vessel growth in the eye leads to vision loss. Bleeding, leaking and scarring from these vessels cause irreversible damage and retinal detachment. About 10-20 % of late-stage AMD cases progress into wAMD, and is responsible for 90% of acute blindness due to age-related macular degeneration. Standard care of wAMD is frequent invasive intravitreal injections of antibodies targeting the vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF). However, even with these therapies, there is a great unmet need of new effective treatments with less invasive and more convenient delivery modalities.