Ongoing clinical trials for AMD at Casey Eye Institute

Metformin for dry macular degeneration

Purpose: To determine whether oral Metformin HCL (a diabetes medication) is an effective treatment for slowing the progression of geographic atrophy (late form of dry AMD) in patients with dry age-related macular degeneration (AMD). Qualified study patients will be enrolled in a randomized study that lasts 18 months and requires four study visits at Casey Eye Institute. Eligible participants must be age 55 or older and have advanced dry AMD in one or both eyes. Candidates cannot have diabetes or currently be taking Metformin. Other eligibility criteria may also apply.

Contact:  Jennifer Maykoski, 503-494-3064

Association between advanced AMD and alterations in the gut microbiome

Purpose: To learn whether associations exist between gastrointestinal tract gut bacteria and advanced AMD. Researchers will also explore the connection between an individual's genes and the activity of the gut bacteria. Study participants include people with advanced AMD as well as those without the disease who meet other criteria.

Contact: Mitchell Schain, 503-494-3115

Ocular implant for wet macular degeneration (ARCHWAY Study)

Purpose: This Phase 3 study compares the effects of an ocular implant that releases ranibizumab (Lucentis) to injections of ranibizumab.The study implant releases the study drug continuously for a prolonged period of time and is refilled every 24 weeks. This approach may decrease the need for frequent injections into the eye. Eligible patients must meet specific criteria, including the diagnosis and treatment of their active wet AMD (choroidal neovascularization - or CNV).

Contact: Ann Lundquist, 503-494-6364

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. 

Contact:  Denny Romfh, 503 494-4351 or Omkar Thaware, 503 494-7398

Studies with completed enrollment

Injectable medication for wet AMD (OPT-302)

Purpose:  To determine the effectiveness of two different doses of the biologic therapy OPT-302 given in combination with ranizumab (Lucentis) in participants with wet AMD. In a third arm of the study, patients only received ranizumab. OCT-302 blocks two different types of vascular endothelial growth factors, which cause blood vessels to grow and leak. Enrollment in this Phase 2 study is completed and patients are being followed.

Injectable medication for wet AMD (SEQUOIA Study)

Purpose: To compare the safety and effectiveness of the study drug abicipar pegol to ranibizumab (Lucentis) in patients with an eye newly diagnosed with wet AMD. Abicipar pegol is an anti-VEGF agent that may be more long lasting than some current therapies for wet AMD. Enrollment is this Phase 3 study is completed and study patients are being followed.

Genetics of Age-Related Macular Degeneration Studies

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 uncover gene variations in large families and other populations affected by AMD.

Gene therapy for wet AMD (GEM Study)

Purpose: To assess the safety and dosing levels of a gene-based treatment, RetinoStat, for wet AMD. In this Phase 1 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 continue to be followed.

Diet and Vision Study (Carotenoids in Age-Related Eye Disease Study 2)

Purpose: To learn whether the levels of pigment in the eye's macula is a risk marker for the development of AMD and loss of the retina's function with age. The study is also evaluating whether macular pigment declines with age and if so, what factors play a role. CAREDS is an offshoot of the national Women's Health Initiative (WHI) and was only open to participants in that study.