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Journal of Ophthalmology
Volume 2012 (2012), Article ID 319728, 12 pages
http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2012/319728
Review Article

Antivascular Endothelial Growth Factor Agents for Neovascular Age-Related Macular Degeneration

Department of Ophthalmology, Aristotle University, 54124 Thessaloniki, Greece

Received 7 August 2011; Accepted 30 September 2011

Academic Editor: Toshiaki Kubota

Copyright © 2012 Ilias Zampros et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Abstract

Age-related macular degeneration (AMD) is the leading cause of severe visual loss and blindness over the age of 50 in developed countries. Vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) is considered as a critical molecule in the pathogenesis of choroidal neovascularization (CNV), which characterizes the neovascular AMD. Anti-VEGF agents are considered the most promising way of effectively inhibition of the neovascular AMD process. VEGF is a heparin-binding glycoprotein with potent angiogenic, mitogenic and vascular permeability-enhancing activities specific for endothelial cells. Two anti-VEGF agents have been approved by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for the treatment of neovascular AMD. Pegaptanib sodium, which is an aptamer and ranibizumab, which is a monoclonal antibody fragment. Another humanized monoclonal antibody is currently off-label used, bevacizumab. This paper aims to discuss in details the effectiveness, the efficacy and safety of these three anti-VEGF agents. New anti-VEGF compounds which are recently investigated for their clinical usage (VEGF-trap, small interfering RNA) are also discussed for their promising outcomes.