Age-related Macular Degeneration (AMD) is a debilitating visual disease affecting more than 110 million people worldwide and a leading cause of vision loss in people 50 years of age and older. Older individuals are more likely to be symptomatic form AMD with over 25% of people aged 65+ having the disease and this increases to over 30% among those who are aged 70+.
AMD affects the center region of the retina, called the macula, and it is damaged by the degeneration and eventual death of the cells within the macula that are cause loss of central vision. Loss of central vision affects the ability to see fine details, recognize faces, contrast between dark and light, depth perception, and color.
AMD has two forms nonexudative (dry) and exudative (wet). About 8 out of 10 people with AMD have dry AMD (dAMD), for which there is currently no approved or cleard therapies or treatments in the United States. Dry AMD occurs when the macula thins with age and drusen, tiny clumps of proteins, grow in size and quantity, causing the slow loss of central vision. Addiiotionally, in the late-stage of dAMD, Geogrpahic Atrophy (GA) occurs, which leads to permanent vision loss.
Wet AMD (wAMD) occurs when new or abonormal blood vessels develop under the retina layer. These vessels leak blood or other fluids which result in scarring of the retina. Vision loss in wAMD progesses faster than the vision loss found in dAMD.