Dropping the Needle

Topical anti-VEGF therapy may offer AMD patients an alternative to injections

June 2017

“We hope to be able to provide a new method of treating patients with age-related macular degeneration (AMD),” says Felicity de Cogan of the University of Birmingham, UK, and lead author on a recently published paper describing topical delivery of anti-VEGF antibodies to the posterior segment (1). And it looks like they may have found one – with the help of cell-penetrating peptides (CPPs).

Originally, de Cogan was researching the use of CPPs in microbiology, but through collaborations with neuroscientists at her institute (Lisa Hill and Ann Logan) and clinicians from Queens University, Belfast, UK (Mei Chen and Heping Xu), the potential of CPPs to deliver drugs into the eye became evident. “Anti-VEGF therapies are well-established treatments for AMD but there has been little research on their topical delivery,” says de Cogan. “The CPP formulation brings together the well-established field of CPPs and the unmet clinical need for improved delivery methods for patients with AMD.”