Posted February 09, 2019 09:17:30 A new drug approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for treating age-related macular degeneration (AMD) could help prevent blindness, according to a new study.
Researchers at the University of California, Irvine School of Medicine and Duke University Medical Center in Durham, North Carolina, studied patients with age-linked macular dysfunction (ALD), a degenerative disorder of the retina, who took pravasteptin, a new drug for AMD, or a combination of the two.
The drug can improve vision, help people maintain balance and decrease the risk of vision loss.
In the study, researchers also looked at how the drug affected the visual acuity (VA) of the patients with ALD.
Previous studies have shown that the drug can help vision, but only in the elderly.
“The new study demonstrates that patients taking pravastaptin or prava can have more than a 50% improvement in visual acumen, a level of visual acrobatics necessary to avoid blindness in the majority of cases,” Dr. Jennifer Hargrove, senior author of the study and an associate professor of dermatology and ophthalmology at UCI, said in a news release.
Hargroves group has previously shown that pravas could be effective in people with AMD.
A small, placebo-controlled trial conducted in the United Kingdom last year found that pprastatin helped some people with mild to moderate AMD and that it reduced their visual impairment.
This study is the first to show that priastatin and pravs can work together to help patients with AMD with visual impairment, said Hargreaves senior author and researcher Dr. Daniel K. Miller, MD.
“Patients are showing an improvement in vision with pravaseptin and privastatin, but the drug also helps to maintain the same visual acuities.”
The FDA is planning to approve the drug on March 9.
According to Miller, the drug should be effective for at least six months.
Miller said the FDA hopes to complete more studies and compare the drug with a combination that contains a drug for the same disease, a treatment called a combination immunotherapy.
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