Vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) inhibitors currently used to treat eye diseases have included monoclonal antibodies, antibody fragments, and an aptamer. A different method of achieving VEGF blockade in retinal diseases includes the concept of a cytokine trap. Cytokine traps are being evaluated for the treatment of various diseases that are driven by excessive cytokine levels. Traps, such as VEGF Trap, consist of two extracellular cytokine receptor domains fused together to form a human IgG. Aflibercept (VEGF Trap-Eye) is a soluble fusion protein which combines ligand-binding elements taken from the extracellular components of VEGF receptor (VEGFR)-1 and VEGFR-2 fused to the Fc portion of IgG. This protein contains all human amino-acid sequences, which minimizes the potential for immunogenicity in human patients. The chapter will summarize the chemical properties of aflibercept and the various studies that have demonstrated a role of aflibercept in the management of retinal vascular diseases such as neovascular age-related macular degeneration, diabetic retinopathy, macular edema, and retinal vein occlusion.
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