VIRGINIA BEACH, VA – March 16, For the first time in Virginia, a gene therapy transfer procedure will be performed that could end the need for monthly in-the-eye injections for Wet Age Related Macular Degeneration (WAMD). Two surgeons of the Wagner Kapoor Research Institute, Drs. Wagner and Kapoor, are the only two physicians in Southeastern Virginia and Northern North Carolina region certified to deliver this innovative treatment. WAMD is a leading cause of adult onset blindness. The procedure, which will be the first of its kind in Virginia, is part of an NIH approved clinical trial at Wagner Kapoor Research Institute. Gene transfer is being utilized to potentially “cure” patients of the need for monthly in-the-eye injections to treat blinding WAMD.
This Regenxbio clinical trial has developed a novel one-time gene therapy for the treatment of neovascular (wet) age-related macular degeneration (wet AMD). Wet AMD is characterized by loss of vision due to new, leaky blood vessel formation in the retina. Wet AMD is a significant cause of vision loss in the United States, Europe, and Japan, with up to 2 million people living with wet AMD in these geographies alone. Current anti-VEGF therapies have significantly changed the landscape for the treatment of wet AMD, becoming the standard of care due to their ability to prevent the progression of vision loss in the majority of patients. These therapies, however, require life-long intraocular injections, typically repeated every four to 12 weeks in frequency, to maintain efficacy. Due to the burden of treatment, patients often experience a decline in vision with reduced frequency of treatment over time. This new procedure is being delivered at WKRI as a potentially one-time treatment for wet AMD.
The first genetic transfer surgery will take place on Wednesday, March 16, 7:00 am at Bon Secours ASC, 828 Healthy Way, Virginia Beach, VA 23462.
For comment or to schedule an interview please contact Esmel Meeks.