Age-related macular degeneration (AMD) is the leading cause of adult blindness among individuals aged 50 and older in the Western world, with the neovascular form of AMD responsible for the most severe and rapid visual loss. Although monotherapy with currently available treatments can slow the rate of loss of vision in eyes with neovascular AMD, they do not significantly improve vision. Vascular endothelial growth factor-A (VEGF-A) plays a critical role in the pathogenesis of neovascular AMD, and ranibizumab is a promising new treatment that targets all VEGF-A isoforms and their biologically active degradation products. Clinical trials have reported that ranibizumab treatment resulted in greater proportions of patients achieving a < 15 letter loss of visual acuity and improved vision at 12 and 24 months than control groups. The incidence of serious ocular and systemic adverse events was low in all ranibizumab trials to date. Currently, ranibizumab is the only treatment for neovascular AMD to demonstrate significant improvement in vision for many patients and represents a major advance in treating neovascular AMD.
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