Scientists work on eyedrop to replace injections for AMD

In early animal studies, a new compound reversed damage from wet age-related degeneration and promoted healing processes

A hypodermic needle is displayed against a yellow background

Scientists from the University of Illinois Chicago are working on developing a wet age-related macular degeneration (AMD) treatment that could be delivered as an eyedrop rather than an injection.

Writing in Cell Reports Medicine, the researchers highlighted that the small molecule inhibitor is capable of reversing damage from AMD and promoting regenerative processes.

Yulia Komarova, an associate professor of pharmacology at University of Illinois Chicago, shared: "The idea was to develop something that can be more patient-friendly and doesn't require a visit to the doctor's office.”

The research team used a computational drug design method to design a small molecule inhibitor that could be delivered as an eyedrop rather than an injection.

The compound was then tested in animal models of wet AMD, with the researchers discovering that twice-daily treatment with the eyedrops reduced eye damage in two to three weeks.

The researchers found that the treatment reversed epigenetic changes in the eye, returning gene expression to a healthy state.

"We reduce the effects of the stressor on endothelial cells and we improve regenerative processes, accelerating healing. That can be tremendous for the function of the cells,” Komarova explained.