Daniel Kiernan, MD: Reducing Treatment Burden in AMD

February 1, 2020
Patrick Campbell

Discussing the most effective ways new therapies can reduce the treatment burden of current age-related macular degeneration treatments.

As the field of ophthalmology continues to forge ahead and develop new ways to help preserve and possibly improve a patient’s vision, the onus behind developing new therapies has quickly become reducing the burden of treatment on patients.

Undergoing treatment for age-related macular degeneration (AMD) often means monthly visits to a retina specialist for injections. Despite being able to maintain visual acuity in most patients with the various anti-VEGF injections available, having patients show up for a monthly visit is far from guaranteed.

At recent ophthalmology meetings, much of the discussion during late-breaking sessions has been around potential therapies for AMD still in development, but showing promise in clinical trials. The best way to go about reducing the treatment burden has led to therapies that go about attacking the issue in very different ways.

Recently, the Port Delivery System with Ranibizumab has displayed the ability to reduce visits and treatment burden through an improved delivery system. Meanwhile, brolucizumab was approved for the treatment of AMD with a 3-month dosing interval and results from clinical trials involving faricimab have demonstrated its potential as a treatment for a slew of ophthalmic conditions.

For more perspective on the discussion, HCPLive® recently sat down with Daniel Kiernan, MD, vitreoretinal surgeon with the Ophthalmic Consultants of Long Island, to get his take on the most effective ways new therapies can reduce the treatment burden for patients with AMD.

HCPLive: How will new wAMD therapies decrease treatment burden—is it through longer duration or improved delivery?

Kiernan: So, the burden of AMD treatment is the number one problem that I see in the retina field and trying to reduce that burden is important for both physicians and patients and caregivers alike. Most of the treatments on the horizon are aimed at reducing the burden by longer-lasting treatments whether it be fewer injections that lasts longer—maybe 3 or 4 months—or even devices that are implanted into the eye that can be easily refilled in the office which may last for 8 to 16 months with a single treatment, although that may involve a surgery—if you can imagine the amount of burden reduction compared to monthly treatments it is profound and these are the type of treatments that we see coming out very soon.