The First Ever Treatment for Geographic Atrophy Is Now Available
There’s amazing news for the more than one million Americans afflicted with geographic atrophy – Syfovre™ (pegcetacoplan injection) was recently approved by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Available now, this announcement is historic, as no treatment, other than regular monitoring, had previously existed. For patients, Syfovre™ withstood multiple, intensive clinical studies, emerging as a safe and effective treatment option.
How This Treatment Impacts Geographic Atrophy
Geographic atrophy manifests during late-stage dry age-related macular degeneration (AMD) and, before Syfovre™, had no treatment options beyond monitoring the progression of the condition. After undergoing two far-ranging clinical studies — the OAKS and DERBY studies — Syfovre™ demonstrated an ability to delay lesion growth, with continued improvement over time. Between months 18 to 24 of the trial period, lesions were shown to have reduced by up to 36%.
The OAKS and DERBY studies also established that Syfovre™ is safe for patients, with fewer than 5% of participants displaying the most common detrimental reactions. These included floaters, discomfort in the eye, bleeding in the conjunctiva (the eye’s outer membrane), and neovascular AMD.
Syfovre™ works by inhibiting C3, the main protein in the complement cascade, a key player in our immunity. With AMD, the complement system is overactive, but Syfovre™ halts any damage to the retinal cells, while also slowing the progression of geographic atrophy, although not completely. Ophthalmologists and retinal specialists are presented with flexible dosing, as patients can be treated with Syfovre™ every 25 through 60 days.
What To Expect With Geographic Atrophy
With dry AMD, vision loss typically develops slowly and gradually, making routine dilated eye exams crucial for early detection. Your ophthalmologist may detect drusen – small, yellow, cholesterol-like deposits that accumulate under the retina. Drusen are common with aging, but if they grow in size and number, they can indicate AMD progression.
A potentially injurious condition, geographic atrophy is defined by the formulation of lesions that continually grow larger. In the process, your central vision suffers, causing difficulties in driving, cooking, and other close-up activities. Another telltale sign is the buildup of drusen, culminating in the cell death of retinal pigment epithelium (RPE) cells. RPE is necessary for the retina’s metabolism; when it’s damaged and function is impaired, it can lead to loss of central vision. You may also experience:
- Diminished visual acuity
- Problems seeing in conditions with low light
- Blind spots in your central vision
- Color perception issues
- A permanent loss of vision
See If You Qualify for Geographic Atrophy Treatment in Florida
Previously, there were no treatments for geographic atrophy, other than regular dilated eye exams and monitoring. As such, the FDA approval of Syfovre™ represents a breakthrough for patients. To determine your eligibility for this medication, or for questions about retinal health, contact Retina Group of Florida.