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Charles Wright, Anna E. Mazzucco, Steven M. Becker, Paul A. Sieving, Santa J. Tumminia; NEI-Supported Age-Related Macular Degeneration Research: Past, Present, and Future. Trans. Vis. Sci. Tech. 2020;9(7):49. doi: https://doi.org/10.1167/tvst.9.7.49.
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© ARVO (1962-2015); The Authors (2016-present)
To review past and current National Eye Institute (NEI)–supported age-related macular degeneration (AMD) activities and initiatives and preview upcoming coordinated efforts for studying AMD.
We conducted and summarized a portfolio analysis and literature review of NEI intramural and extramural AMD activities.
The NEI supports a broad range of AMD research, both by individual independent investigators as well as through networks and consortia. The International AMD Genomics Consortium, Age-Related Eye Disease Study, Age-Related Eye Disease Study 2 (AREDS2), and Comparison of AMD Treatments Trial legacy work probed the complex genetics, clinical presentation, and standards of patient care, respectively. The NEI AMD Pathobiology Working Group identified gaps and opportunities for future research efforts. The AMD Ryan Initiative Study and clinical trials testing the efficacies of minocycline to modulate retinal microglia activity and induced pluripotent stem cells–derived retinal pigmented epithelium (RPE) patch implants to rescue photoreceptor cell death are among the future directions for NEI-supported AMD research. Finally, NEI commissioned the creation of AREDS2 participant-derived induced pluripotent stem cell (iPSC) lines linked to their associated genomic and phenotypic datasets. These datasets will also be linked to the data obtained using their associated iPSC-derived cells (RPE, retina, choroid) and made publicly available.
Investments by NEI for AMD research will continue to provide invaluable resources to investigators committed to addressing this complex blinding disease and other retinal degenerative diseases.
NEI now stands poised to expand the resources available to clinical investigators to uncover disease mechanisms and move experimental therapies into clinical trials.
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