Ongoing clinical trials for AMD at Casey Eye Institute

Studies for wet macular degeneration

Wet AMD combination therapy

Purpose:  To evaluate the safety and effectiveness of a medication, Fovista, that blocks a protein which causes the growth of abnormal blood vessels in wet AMD. The study drug will be injected monthly along with one of the current wet AMD medications, which target a different source of abnormal blood vessel growth. The hope is that this combination approach will be more effective than using one medication and will lead to better vision and extend time in between treatments. 
The Phase 3 study is recruiting participants age 55 and older with active wet AMD. Other eligibility criteria may also apply.

Contact: Shelley Hanel, 503 494-1986

Gene therapy for wet AMD (GEM Study)

Purpose: To evaluate the safety and dosing levels of a gene-based treatment, RetinoStat®, for wet AMD. In this study, two helpful genes are delivered directly to the retina, where they "turn on" proteins that block abnormal blood vessel growth in a sustained fashion. Enrollment is completed and study patients are being followed.

Contact: Ann Lundquist, 503 494-6364

Studies for dry macular degeneration

Lampalizumab for advanced dry AMD

Purpose: To evaluate the effectiveness and safety of lampalizumab in patients with geographic atrophy (GA), an advanced form of dry AMD. The medication, given by injection into the eye, targets an enzyme that may encourage dry AMD to develop. The study's main goal is to examine the change in the area of GA over the course of this two-year, Phase 3 study.

A second goal is to examine changes in vision. Eligible participants must be at least age 50 or over and have GA in both eyes. Other vision and general health criteria may also apply.

Contact: Mitchell Schain, 503 494-3115

BEACON Study (Implantable medication for dry AMD)

Purpose: To learn if an implantable medication, Brimonidine, is safe and effective for treating geographic atrophy (GA), a dry form of AMD. Brimonidine, used in eye drop form to treat glaucoma, has been shown to protect cells in the retina. In this Phase 2 study, a tiny pellet is implanted into the eye's vitreous that releases the medication to the retina over a sustained period of time. Eligible participants must be 55 years or older and have GA in the study eye that results in moderate vision loss, in addition to other eligibility criteria.

Contact: Ann Lundquist, 503 494-6364

SEATTLE Study (For dry AMD)

Purpose:  To learn if an oral study medication, emixustat hydrocholoride, slows progression to advanced dry AMD (geographic atrophy) compared to placebo in people with dry AMD.  Enrollment is completed and study patients are being followed.

Contact:  Shelley Hanel, 503 494-1986

Other studies

Genetics of Age-Related Macular Degeneration Study

Purpose: To find genetic mechanisms associated with AMD, which will lead to more accurate early detection and precise treatments.  Researchers are using advanced whole genome sequencing technology to find gene variations in large families and other populations affected by AMD.  The study is supported in part by a major grant from the National Eye Institute.

Contact: Jennifer Maykoski, 503 494-3064

Advanced imaging trials

Purpose: To test the capabilities of high-speed optical coherence tomography (OCT) in patients with dry or wet AMD. OCT uses light waves to produce extremely detailed cross-sectional images of eye structures.  Investigators are studying whether this new version of OCT can visualize and measure blood vessel growth as well as fluorescein angiography, which involves the injection of a contrasting agent to highlight the problem vessels. The team is also comparing how retinal anatomy and blood flow differ among study patients in early, intermediate and advanced dry AMD. 

Association between advanced AMD and alterations in the gut microbiome

Purpose: To learn whether associations exist between gastrointestinal tract gut bacteria and AMD. Researchers will also explore the connection between an individual's genes and the activity of the gut bacteria. The study is limited to a select group of participants enrolled in the Genetics of Age-Related Macular Degeneration Study.