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Medline ® Abstract for Reference 48

of 'Diabetic retinopathy: Prevention and treatment'

Anti-VEGF aptamer (pegaptanib) therapy for ocular vascular diseases.
Ng EW, Adamis AP
Ann N Y Acad Sci. 2006;1082:151.
Vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) is a central regulator of both physiological and pathological angiogenesis. Pegaptanib, a 28-nucleotide RNA aptamer specific for the VEGF(165) isoform, binds to it in the extracellular space, leaving other isoforms unaffected, and inhibits such key VEGF actions as promotion of endothelial cell proliferation and survival, and vascular permeability. Pegaptanib already has been examined as a treatment for two diseases associated with ocular neovascularization, age-related macular degeneration (AMD) and diabetic macular edema (DME). Preclinical studies have shown that VEGF(165) alone mediates pathological ocular neovascularization and that its inactivation by pegaptanib inhibits the choroidal neovascularization observed in patients with neovascular AMD. In contrast, physiological vascularization, which is supported by the VEGF(121) isoform, is unaffected by this inactivation of VEGF(165). In addition, animal model studies have shown that intravitreous injection of pegaptanib can inhibit the breakdown of the blood-retinal barrier characteristic of diabetes and even can reverse this damage to some degree. These preclinical findings formed the basis for randomized controlled trials examining the efficacy of pegaptanib as a therapy for AMD and DME. The VEGF Inhibition Study in Ocular Neovascularization (VISION) trial comprising two replicate, pivotal phase 3 studies, demonstrated that intravitreous injection of pegaptanib resulted in significant clinical benefit,compared with sham injection, for all prespecified clinical end points, irrespective of patient demographics or angiographic subtype, and led to pegaptanib's approval as a treatment for AMD. A phase 2 trial has provided support for the efficacy of intravitreous pegaptanib in the treatment of DME.
(OSI) Eyetech, Inc., New York, New York 10036, USA.