Fenretinide and Dry Macular Degeneration Treatment
Fenretinide is an oral vitamin A binding protein that is used to treat rheumatoid arthritis and skin diseases such as psoriasis and acne.
This drug is in its phase II trial and it shows promising effects to slow down or prevent the progression of dry macular degeneration to wet macular degeneration.
How does Fenretinide work?
Metabolism of nutrients in the retina will produce waste products such as lipofuscin and Vitamin A metabolites which normally are removed from the body by natural mechanisms.
Sometimes and due to many factors, these natural mechanisms will be compromised which will lead to accumulation of these waste products in the retina.
These waste products especially A2E are highly toxic to retinal cells and retinal pigment epithelium cells.
This medication will bind to retinal binding protein or retinal pigment epithelium and this will help to reduce the accumulation of these waste products in retinal cells and it was found that patients with less amount of retinal pigment epithelium in their blood have the lowest risk of progression of Dry AMD to Wet AMD.
Other ways that this medication helps to prevent or slow the progression of Age Related Macular Degeneration are:
1- Anti-inflammatory activities.
2- Inhibition of abnormal blood vessel growth.
Side Effects of Fenretinide
The main ocular side effects from this medication are:
1- Delayed dark adaptation.
2- Dry eye symptoms with foreign body sensation and excessive tearing.
Phase 3 clinical trial for this medication is planned for 2011.