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The Dynamic Duo
September 11, 2012

The Dynamic Duo

A study, published in the September 11, 2012 issue of the journal Developmental Cell discovered that a protein, sphingosine 1-phosphate receptor-1 (S1P1) works together with vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) in the formation of blood vessels, known as angiogenesis. The two retinal diseases affected by the formation of new blood vessels are wet macular degeneration (AMD) and diabetic retinopathy.

"We are intrigued to see what the potential for treating these eye diseases would be if S1P1 axis was also targeted," says Dr. Hla professor of pathology and laboratory medicine and director of the Center for Vascular Biology at Weill Cornell.

An already FDA approved drug, fingolimod, is used to treat multiple sclerosis and is a sphingosine 1-phosphate (S1P) receptor modulator. However, new S1P1 inhibitors are being developed by several other companies.

It is possible that in the near future we will see the combination of anti-VEGF medications and SIPI inhibitors in clinical trials to treat wet AMD and/or diabetic retinopathy.

"The body needs to make new blood vessels that transport oxygen and blood. We now know that VEGF starts the process of sprouting new blood vessels from existing vessels, and S1P1 finishes it," says Dr. Timothy Hla,

"Angiogenesis is abnormal in many diseases; by targeting both S1P1 and VEGF, it may be more effective to strike out disease than using just VEGF inhibitors alone," he says.

Find out what angiogenesis is, what medications are used to treat it and who is a candidate for anti-VEGF therapy:

Angiogeneis and Anti-VEGF Inhibitors

Thanks so much for subscribing to Macular Degeneration News.

Leslie Degner, RN, BSN

Better Health for Better Vision

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