UW Scientist Leads Quest for New Macular Degeneration Therapy
Madison, Wisconsin - A University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health scientist is spearheading a study of new treatments for wet age-related macular degeneration (
Dr. Nader Sheibani, a professor in the Department of Ophthalmology and Visual Sciences, was awarded $6.2 million over five years from the National Eye Institute. In the first year, the collaborators will receive $1.2 million.
The project is a collaboration among:
- Dr. Sheibani’s lab and others in the Department of Ophthalmology and Visual Sciences
- Researchers in the Department of Pediatrics in the School of Medicine and Public Health
- Scientists at
for Developmental Therapeutics and Feinberg School of Medicine Northwestern University Center
- University of Nebraska Center for Drug Delivery and Nanomedicine
Each specialist and team brings different skills and techniques to the question of treatment of exudative
Wet or exudative
Ophthalmologists have developed treatments known as anti-vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) to slow or stop new vessels from forming. The anti-VEGF treatments require frequent injections into the eye. They are an important tool for ophthalmologists to help save vision and their use has demonstrated that inhibiting VEGF slows damage from
Dr. Sheibani and his collaborators hope to develop treatments using small peptides that mimic those of the body’s own inhibitors of angiogenesis. These treatments will counter VEGF activity and inhibit vascular growth in eyes with exudative
This study will develop peptide mimetics – shorter versions of the proteins the body makes - that will stop vessel growth. Researchers at
The hope is that this class of drugs, because they mimic the body’s own defenses, will be more effective and have fewer side effects than the treatments already available. Although human clinical trials are years away, this research is truly translational, with the potential to greatly impact quality of life by preventing a common cause of vision loss.
Sheibani is a member of the McPherson Eye Research Institute at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, as are study collaborators Bikash Pattnaik and Christine Sorenson, researchers in the Department of Pediatrics, and Dr. Dan Albert and Dr. Ron Danis, both professors of ophthalmology and visual sciences.
Date Published: 03/20/2013