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It is a protein that blocks the action of vascular endothelial growth factor-A (VEGF-A) and placental growth factor (PLGF).
VEGF-A and PLGF are growth factors, proteins that promote new blood vessel growth (neovascularization) and increase the permeability of blood vessels in the eye. As blood builds up in the area of blockage, fluid is leaked into the macula, causing macular edema.
Excessive production and growth of new, leaky blood vessels in the eye occur when too much VEGF-A and PLGF are produced in people with wet age-related macular degeneration (AMD) or diabetes. Diabetic Retinopathy (DR) is an eye condition that occurs when retinal blood vessels are damaged, leaky, and blocked due to too much sugar in the blood. Eylea binds to VEGF-A and PLGF growth factors, preventing them from binding and activating their corresponding receptors.
Blockage can happen in the smaller retinal veins known as a Branch Retinal Vein Occlusion (BRVO) or in the central retinal vein (located at the optic nerve) known as a Central Retinal Vein Occlusion (CRVO). By 2050, the number of diabetic retinopathy cases in Americans is expected to double to 14.6 million.
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