A new injection for the treatment of wet AMD has been licensed for use in the EU.
Eylea, which is also known as Vegf Trap Eye, works in a similar way to current treatment with Lucentis, but its effect is reported to last longer.
Developed by Bayer, the treatment will now be appraised by NICE and, if approved, could be made available on the NHS.
Welcoming news of the licensing, chief executive of the Macular Disease Society, Helen Jackman (pictured), said: “We hope that this new treatment for wet AMD will be good news for patients if it means people can keep their vision with fewer injections.”
A recent survey by the charity found that 80% of eye clinics are failing to meet the recommended monthly follow-ups for re-treatment of wet AMD patients with Lucentis.
Ms Jackman added: “Many elderly patients find frequent hospital appointments extremely hard. We also know that eye clinics are struggling to cope with the number of patients needing treatment. This could be putting patients’ sight at risk so a treatment which is needed less often would be welcome.”
Expressing concern that with the number of people affected by AMD set to rise by one third by 2020, Ms Jackson said that even the new treatment may not be enough to relive the pressure in eye clinics. “We urgently need more investment in AMD services if the NHS is to meet demand for these sight saving treatments,” she added.