On 6 February 2016, at the Angiogenesis, Exudation, and Degeneration conference in Miami, USA, it was announced that a 12-month study of the investigational antibody LFG316 failed to demonstrate efficacy (effectiveness) against the development of geographic atrophy, the end stage of dry age-related macular degeneration.
LFG316 is an antibody to complement protein C5, which is believed to be a possible contributing factor for the development of dry macular degeneration. Another C5 antibody, known as eculizumab, also failed to demonstrate any effect in another study in 2015.
It has been known since 2005 that activation of part of the immune system, known as complement, may be an important component in the development of age-related macular degeneration.
Complement is triggered and regulated by many different proteins and much research effort has been directed to the development of antibodies which can switch off the various complement proteins, as a way to control the disease.
These results are likely to signal the end of research into C5 antibodies as a potential treatment for geographic atrophy or dry age-related macular degeneration.
Research into numerous antibodies to other complement proteins continues and the search for answers to eliminating dry age related macular degeneration will continue through research across the world and in Australia.
To find out more about the Foundation's research grants program and donate, go to www.mdfoundation.com.au/research.aspx or call the Foundation on 1800 111 709.
17 February 2016