One of the most successful treatments for Exudative (Wet) Age Related Macular Degeneration is with an antiVEGF treatment. This does require the drug to be injected into the the vitreous jelly inside the eye, but is highly effective in stopping the growth of the new abnormal blood vessels. The requirement for regular injections is both inconvenient to patients, and does carry a small risk of infection inside the eye.
Researchers from University College London, found that Imatinib, a drug currently used to treat leukaemia had also been found to be effective at inhibiting the growth of new blood vessels. Imatinib also uses a different method to inhibit new vessel growth- it does not depend on blocking VEGF (Vascular Endothelial Growth Factor, which causes the new vessels to grow).
This new drug is taken orally, and there is hope that this may be another line of treatment for this problematic condition in the near future- perhaps as well as injections, but possibly without the requirement for regular injections- or for people where the injections do not work or are beginning to lose effect.
This article can be read here.
Another trial has found that there may be a benefit in AMD from the use of drugs which are used to treat HIV. These drugs are used the world over, so their side effects and safety are well documented. It was initially thought that the anti HIV drugs were showing a benefit in the treatment of the Dry type of AMD, but the researchers have found that there may be a benefit in both the Wet and Dry forms of AMD. Trials have been very effective, but it is only at the mouse/rat stage at this time.
The link to read the full text of the HIV trial can be read here.