Dr Jordi Monés, MD, PhD, was the principal speaker at The Annual Israeli Retina Society Meeting. The ophthalmologist and macula and vitreoretinal expert and researcher gave three speeches in which he shared the latest research and developments in macular degeneration with the international medical community specialising in this area.
In one address, Dr Monés set out the developments in research into atrophic AMD by reviewing all the current treatments; from drugs that attempt to halt the disease to the use of the nanopulse laser, drugs aimed at making drusen disappear and, finally, recent results with stem cells. He devoted part of this talk to the research being conducted by the biotech company Cell Cure, which specialises in the development of cell therapies for retinal and neurogenerative diseases and of which he is a scientific advisor. Dr Monés presented results of the implantation and survival of these cells in a group of patients.
In his keynote speech, Dr Monés explained the types of image and optimal protocols that exist for the monitoring of cell therapies for atrophic macular degeneration. He presented the conclusions of two papers in which he took part: the first analyses the advantages and limitations of all the imaging techniques used at present and the second refers to the new definitions and the consensus reached on OCT for the improved definition of atrophy. The latter is serving to create a severity scale for the disease. Specifically, Cell Cure is applying this scale to study the external layers of the retina and analyse the functioning of cells in patients.
In another address, Dr Monés referred to Faricimab, a monoclonal antibody developed by Roche. This has two uses: for diabetic macular oedema and for age-related macular degeneration. Trials, now in phase II, have shown highly promising results both in efficacy and in durability, which will enable the patient to reduce treatment frequency. The Barcelona Macula Foundation, of which Dr Monés is the Director, is currently participating in phase III for both diseases.