Age-related Macular Degeneration (AMD) is the most common cause of vision loss in people 50 and older. In its early stages AMD will cause patients to have a noticeable decrease in their ability to see sharply or use focused vision – the type of vision required for reading, watching television or driving. For approximately 90 out of every 100 patients with AMD, the loss of vision is a gradual process. Patients who show this initial and gradual decrease in vision have dry AMD.
Presently, there is no approved drug treatment available for patients with dry AMD, and limited treatments are available for patients with wet AMD. As a result, 90 percent of AMD patients cannot be treated with the methods currently available.
As the population ages and the baby boomer generation advances into their 50s and 60s, there will be a virtual epidemic of AMD. Currently, more than 15 million patients in the U.S. suffer from the signs and symptoms of AMD, and an estimated 25 to 30 million patients are afflicted worldwide.