Acuity Medical is pursuing new electrical stimulation technology to treat dry age-related macular degeneration (AMD), the leading cause of vision loss and legal blindness in adults over 60 in the U.S. Currently there is no effective treatment for AMD which, according to The World Health Organization, affects more than 50 million people worldwide.
Dry macular degeneration is the most common form of AMD, representing approximately 90% of all macular degeneration cases. Less common but more severe is wet AMD. There is no generally accepted treatment for dry macular degeneration, although vitamins, antioxidants and zinc supplements may slow its progression. New pharmaceutical treatments such as Macugen® from Pfizer and Lucentis® from Genentech are focused exclusively on wet AMD.
Acuity is meeting the unmet demand for dry AMD treatment with a new medical device that uses low levels of electrical stimulation on the eyes to improve vision. Called TheraMac(TM), it delivers minute amounts of biocurrent to the retina through a probe that touches the skin around the eye. The total time for treating one eye is approximately 15 minutes. A series of clinical trials have been completed to date.
It is expected that more than a quarter of people over 65 in the US will suffer from AMD. Among people aged 75 or more, the percentage will reach 35%. These patients will experience dramatically diminished central vision, contrast sensitivity and color perception making many daily activities impossible.
In dry AMD, there is a breakdown or thinning of the retinal pigment epithelial cells (RPE) in the macula. The death or degeneration of these cells is characterized by the presence of drusen, dots of yellow crystalline deposits that develop within the macula, and thinning of the macula.
Acuity Medical has been focused on developing an electrotherapeutic treatment system for dry AMD since 1995. With an increasing amount of data demonstrating that electrical stimulation safely improves vision, Acuity Medical has the potential with the introduction of TheraMac(TM) to bring much- needed treatment and relief to dry AMD patients.
Acuity Medical, located in Brighton, Michigan, is a therapeutic technology company that is developing treatments for all aspects of macular disease. For more information, contact Tom McColley at (810) 229-5828.
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