Novel treatments in development boost health of photoreceptors

In a Healio Video Perspective from the FLORetina-ICOOR meeting in Rome, Baruch D. Kuppermann, MD, PhD, spoke about some products in development that share a common theme. Risuteganib (Allegro Ophthalmics) and elamipretide (Stealth BioTherapeutics) are mitochondrial membrane stabilizers, both seemingly effective for improving vision in dry age-related macular degeneration (AMD) or even early-stage geographic atrophy. (Mitochondria, often referred to as the powerhouses of the cell, help turn the energy we take from food into energy the cell can use.)  These drugs could be used in earlier stages of dry AMD than the recently approved complement inhibitors Syfovre and Izervay.  Famzeretcel (jCyte) is a novel stem cell therapy for retinitis pigmentosa. “What they all have in common is that these are conditions with damaged retinas, and these treatments seem to be able to make the retinal cells, the [light-sensing] photoreceptors in particular, healthier,” Kuppermann said.  That allows the damaged retinas to function better, with improvements in vision. 

Trials have also clarified patient selection criteria, and a new anatomic endpoint has emerged, in addition to visual acuity, which the FDA has indicated it is willing to consider. 

Source: Healio Ocular Surgery News, December 19, 2023; see source video