Hicksville and Hauppauge, NY (PRWEB) February 06, 2013
The Retina Group of New York (RGONY) with offices in Hicksville and Hauppauge, NY, has announced the availability of JETREA® (Ocriplasmin), the first non-surgical treatment for patients with symptomatic Vitreo-macular Adhesion (VMA) or Vitreo-macular Traction (VMT). It is a big breakthough in the the treatment of patients with this particular vision problem that affects an estimated 250,000 people annually in the US. This proteolytic drug recently received FDA approval and is administered in a brief office procedure.
Symptomatic VMA is a progressive condition that occurs when the vitreous gel shrinks and separates from the macula in the back of the eye causing blurry, distorted or decreased vision. It typically develops in the 50’s or 60’s when the vitreous starts to shrink and floaters occur. It is easily diagnosed with a high resolution OCT laser scan of the retinal surface and layers. In more severe cases, VMA causes a wrinkle in the retina called a macular pucker or tears the retina leading to a macular hole leaving a small central area blind spot. Until now, VMA required vitreous surgery at an ambulatory surgical center with attendant complexity of medical clearance, anesthesiology, and postoperative limitations for at least several days.
JETREA is the first drug approved by the FDA to treat VMA. According to Edward Cox, M.D., M.P.H., director of the Office of Antimicrobial Products in FDA’s Center for Drug Evaluation and Research, “Today’s approval represents a significant advancement in treatment for patients with symptomatic VMA. Those with this sight-threatening disease now have a non-surgical treatment option.” JETREA is manufactured by ThromboGenics. Based on two pivotal clinical studies involving 652 patients, the FDA has established the safety and efficacy of JETREA. Results were published in 2012 in the New England Journal of Medicine.
According to James M. Maisel, M.D., Chairman of the Retina Group of New York and a vitreoretinal surgeon, “Therapeutic injections inside the eye became commonplace decades ago with pneumatic retinopexy of gas bubbles as an alternative to retinal detachment surgery. Within the past decade we have seen tremendous advancements in pharmacologic treatment of many vision threatening macular diseases such as diabetic retinopathy, macular degeneration, uveitis, and vein occlusions. These treatments are solving challenging retinal problems formerly only addressable with laser procedures and delicate surgery. Over the past decade, we have administered over 10,000 painless macular treatment injections in the office with a very high efficacy and safety profile that maintain or improve vision."
Dr. Maisel continues, "While macular conditions do not cause total blindness if left untreated, they almost always cause distortion and blurred central vision and profoundly affect the quality of life. Reading and driving vision are often lost when macular conditions are bilateral and left untreated. The current challenge is to raise awareness for treatment before vision is lost now that we have effective treatments for earlier stages of these macular conditions. JETREA represents a simple alternative to vitrectomy surgery for select cases of vitreous traction. As with other ocular injections, we expect that this treatment to be covered by most insurance plans."
Rodney P. Coe, M.D., another retinal specialist with the Retina Group of New York, states that “Although the microsurgery for VMA performed weekly in our group has a very high success rate and also removes floaters, JETREA outpatient office treatment is an excellent option for select patients. It will allow some to avoid surgery and corresponding post-surgical recovery time and restrictions."
About The Retina Group of New York
The Retina Group of New York is composed of Board Certified Ophthalmologists with additional subspecialty training in vitreous and retinal surgery and medical retinal diagnosis and treatment. The group provides eye care for patients with retinal problems such as diabetic retinopathy, macular degeneration, retinal vascular disease, retinal detachments, vitreoretinal interface disorders such as VMA, macular puckers and holes, surgical complications, uveitis and second opinions. Members of the group holds staff privileges at seven area hospitals, teaching appointments and served as a Corporate Advisory Board member for the Foundation of the American Academy of Ophthalmology (AAO), the Juvenile Diabetes Foundation Medical Advisory Board and the AAO Instrument and Device and Low Vision Committees. They have received research grants from the U.S. Public Health Service and the National Institute of Health and represented the National Society to Prevent Blindness at the ANSI Z-80 committee helping to establish many ophthalmic industry standards.