New therapy for Corneal Graft Rejection
VGX-100 identified as potential new therapy for improving Corneal Graft Survival in Corneal Transplant rejection
Cornea is the transparent part of an eye which lies in front covering the other parts of eye including the colored iris, which imparts color to the human eye (like black, brown, grey or green eyes).
Cornea can be damaged following any disease or injury of eye. It is possible to replace a damaged or diseases cornea with a healthy one, with a procedure known as the ‘corneal grafting’ or ‘perforating keratoplasty’.
For grafting procedure, healthy cornea is taken from the persons who donate their eyes to be used for medical purposes after their death. These grafts are taken shortly after their death and preserved to be used in procedures like corneal grafting.
Cornea mostly gets permanently damaged in diseases like herpes eye infection, corneal ulcer, corneal degeneration, bacterial keratitis or any traumatic eye injuries leading to corneal perforation. Cornea can be transplanted as a whole, or partly.
According to a data, the number of corneal grafting procedures carried out in United States alone exceeds the figure of 40, 000 per year. Most of these grafts are very well tolerated and do not cause problems in these patients, yet about 10-40% are reported to be rejected within six months of transplant.
According to a very recent study published on January 30th, 2012 it is shown that a substance named VEGF-C has been shown to be present in large amounts in corneal grafts which were rejected. The results of this study revealed that using VGX-100, a human antibody against VEGF-C can block VEGF-C and thus markedly reduce the risk for Corneal Transplant rejection.
The results of this study have clearly identified VGX-100 as a potential new therapy for improving corneal graft survival. This study can prove to be an important step in enhancing the survival rate for transplanted corneas.
In medical studies, ‘treatment of the cause’ always remains the basic aim for fighting any disease. Here, in this case, the VEGF-C has been identified to be one of the major factors in rejection of corneal grafts, and VGX-100 has been identified as its opponent; thus treating VEGF-C can surely be expected to treat the corneal graft rejection.