Novel eyedrop is promising wet AMD treatment
New therapy could be used as an alternative or combination to extend the interval of the injections


Rockville, Md.—New research has resulted in a new potential therapeutic option for vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) after being demonstrated on a mouse model. The results are being presented during the 2021 Annual Meeting of The Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology (ARVO), being hosted virtually this year.

Kaori Yamada, PhD and her team at the University of Illinois, supported by the National Eye Institute (NIH), developed a study to further investigate the mechanism of molecular trafficking in mammalian cells, which regulates the function of the cells and is correlated to the disease progression. With the knowledge that vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) and its receptor VEGFR2 are promising therapeutic targets for wet AMD, the Yamada team developed the peptide KAI to selectively interfere with VEGFR2 trafficking to the cell surface where it receives VEGF. This study the sought to determine the efficacy of KAI in the mouse model of choroidal neovascularization (CNV). Ultimately, the comparison with current therapy suggests that KAI eyedrop is as effective as current therapy to prevent CNV in wet AMD.

Due to its small size, water solubility, and cell permeability, the KAI eyedrop successfully reached the back of the eyes where disease occurs. “As current therapies need a repeated intravitreal injection, our strategy can provide a therapeutic option of an eyedrop to be used as an alternative or combination to extend the interval of the injection,” explains Yamada.

Though the study showed promising results in the mouse model, further investigations in bigger animals to test the safety, efficacy, biodistribution, retention, and pharmacokinetics are necessary. Yamada notes that KAI, “has the potential to be applied for other eye diseases such as macular edema, diabetic retinopathy, and eye cancers.”

  • Abstract title: VEGFR2 trafficking by KIF13B is a novel therapeutic target for wet AMD
  • Presentation start/end time: Wednesday, May 5, 2021, 2:45 – 4:30pm ET
  • Presentation number: 3544490


The Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology (ARVO) is the largest eye and vision research organization in the world. Members include approximately 10,000 eye and vision researchers from over 75 countries. ARVO advances research worldwide into understanding the visual system and preventing, treating and curing its disorders. Learn more at

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Erin Hering