Peter Kertes, MD, CM: The Present and Future of Retina Disease Drugs

JULY 27, 2018
Kevin Kunzmann
Shortly after presenting on the clinical merits of treat-and-extend dosing regimens versus those of monthly dosing in patients with neovascular age-related macular degeneration, Peter Kertes, MD, CM, sat down with MD Magazine® to discuss the therapies themselves.

While attending the 2018 American Society of Retina Specialists (ASRS) Annual Meeting in Vancouver, BC, Kertes, phthalmologist-in-chief of The John and Liz Tory Eye Center at Sunnybrook Health Sciences Center, and professor of ophthalmology and vision sciences at the University of Toronto, discussed how current therapies are advantageous for patients—but how they could be improved by new anti-VEGF options or gene therapies in the very near future.



MD Mag: Is the current classes of drugs for retina diseases the "best-case scenario" for patients?

Peter Kertes, MD, CM: I think until we have better agents—and certainly we've heard about newer agents coming along that might be more durable and more potent than the ones we have today. Until those are readily available and in the market, I think for now, for today, this is probably the most reasonable and safe and effective of all modalities.

What could the progression of drug options look like in the field, 5 years from now?

I think the drug, the agent that's gotten the most attention recently is brolucizumab, which seems to have pretty good durability and pretty good potency. We heard this morning about how effective a drying agent it is, how effective it is it getting rid of the fluid in the retina, under  retina, and in the retinal pigment epithelium.

The phase 3 registration trials are done, so I think we'll probably see that in the market pretty soon, almost certainly sooner in the United States and elsewhere, but hopefully in Canada we'll have that certainly by 2020, and we'll get a chance to try it out and see how it compares to the treatments we have now.

What do you believe will headline the biggest discussions at next year's ASRS meeting?

I mean, there have been a lot of interesting presentations today. There's a lot of interesting developments in the pipeline. You know, there's some stem-cell studies that were talked about today, that I think have great promise. I think that's the sort of the holy grail of macular degeneration.

I look forward to having those as options in the future, and as something we can give our patients to hopefully help their quality of life and improve their vision.

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