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Journal of Ophthalmology
Volume 2012, Article ID 483034, 13 pages
http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2012/483034
Review Article

Development of Anti-VEGF Therapies for Intraocular Use: A Guide for Clinicians

1NIHR Biomedical Research Centre for Ophthalmology, Moorfields Eye Hospital NHS Foundation Trust and UCL Institute of Ophthalmology, London EC1V 2PD, UK
2Doheny Eye Institute and Department of Ophthalmology, Keck School of Medicine, University of Southern California, Los Angeles, CA 90033, USA

Received 8 September 2011; Accepted 1 November 2011

Academic Editor: Toshiaki Kubota

Copyright © 2012 Pearse A. Keane and Srinivas R. Sadda. 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

Angiogenesis is the process by which new blood vessels form from existing vessel networks. In the past three decades, significant progress has been made in our understanding of angiogenesis; progress driven in large part by the increasing realization that blood vessel growth can promote or facilitate disease. By the early 1990s, it had become clear that the recently discovered “vascular endothelial growth factor” (VEGF) was a powerful mediator of angiogenesis. As a result, several groups targeted this molecule as a potential mediator of retinal ischemia-induced neovascularization in disorders such as diabetic retinopathy and retinal vein occlusion. Around this time, it also became clear that increased intraocular VEGF production was not limited to ischemic retinal diseases but was also a feature of choroidal vascular diseases such as neovascular age-related macular degeneration (AMD). Thus, a new therapeutic era emerged, utilizing VEGF blockade for the management of chorioretinal diseases characterized by vascular hyperpermeability and/or neovascularization. In this review, we provide a guide for clinicians on the development of anti-VEGF therapies for intraocular use.