Juvenile macular degeneration disorder (JMD) is the term for several inherited and rare diseases that affect children and young adults. They include Stargardt disease, Best disease, and juvenile retinoschisis. They can cause central vision loss that often starts in childhood or young adulthood.
Stargardt disease is the most common form of juvenile macular degeneration. The changes in vision are usually noticed before the age of 20. This retinal condition is usually seen after the age of 6 and before the age of 20. Although they may have had it for some time, some people may not be aware that they have this disease until they are 30 or 40 years old. Both males and females are affected equally.
There are many ways to help children and young adults live active and productive lives in spite of them being affected with juvenile macular degeneration through various visual aids like large print books, electronic book readers, large button cell phones, special glasses, page magnifiers, and computer programs.
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- The fluroscein angiography (FA) is expected to grow at a CAGR of 6.9%
- According to the management, magnifying spectacles is the largest segment valued at USD 283.023 million in 2016
- According to the end user, the hospitals & eye clinics is the fastest growing segment at a CAGR of 6.9%.
Key Players in Global Juvenile Macular Degeneration Market
Some of key the players in the market are Acucela Inc. (U.S.), Alkeus Pharmaceuticals Inc. (U.S.), Astellas Pharma Inc. (Japan), ProQR Therapeutics NV (Netherland), Sanofi (France), Bayer HealthCare (Germany), F. Hoffmann-La Roche (Switzerland), Copernicus Therapeutics Inc. (U.S.), Grupo Ferrer Internacional SA (U.S.), Iris Pharma (U.S.), Nemus Bioscience Inc (U.S.), Ophthotech Corp (U.S.), Iconic Therapeutics (U.S.), Adverum Biotechnologies (U.S.), PanOptica (U.S.), RXi Pharmaceuticals (U.S.), Neurotech Pharmaceuticals (U.S.)
It is seen that Stargardt disease is an inherited disease and as the disease progresses, it requires intensive treatments and drugs such as StarGen (Gene therapy). Over the time, the life expectancy of the patients with juvenile macular degeneration has increased with the medical advancements such as stem cell therapy, but so has the cost of the treatment. A company called Oxford BioMedica is working on a gene therapy treatment that replaces the defective ABCA4 gene that causes Stargardt disease by using their LentiVector technology to deliver a corrected version of the gene into the cells of the retina. Advanced Cell Technology received FDA approval to begin Phase I clinical trials using stem cells for the treatment of Stargardt’s Macular Dystrophy.
As juvenile macular degeneration formation represents a hallmark in the history of eye disorders, adequate management of juvenile macular degeneration and its complications would better quality of life and escalate the treatment rate. Patients with mild juvenile macular degeneration are advised to follow a low sodium intake diet to increase mobilization of the fluid retention. As there is not even a single pharmaceutical drug approved by FDA for the management of juvenile macular degeneration. For instance, in March 2014, Santen Pharmaceuticals signed a pact with TRACON pharmaceuticals to develop and commercialize Tracon’s anti-VEGF product TRC105 for the treatment of various eye related disorder
However, various complications have been observed with juvenile macular degeneration treatment approaches such as no drug treatment, no preventive measure, gradual loss of sight, difficulties in diagnosis, similar symptoms, post-procedural complexities, and others. Some of these complications are rare and life-threatening. Thus, development of new drugs may emerge as the new revenue pockets for the growth of this market.
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According to the data suggested by the Centres for Disease Control and Prevention, juvenile macular degeneration is a chronic, genetic disease that is currently affecting the lives of around 70,000 people all across the world. The estimated prevalence in the U.S. is approximately 32,000 to 41,000 patients.
The rising burden of juvenile macular degeneration and related complications at an alarming rate are triggering various government or private associations to amend and improve their policies. For instance, the Foundation Fighting Blindness had conducted Stargardt disease Workshop to discuss the progression, pathology and therapeutic opportunities of Stargardt disease. The workshop was held in the Tinkham Veale University Center on February 2017. The Macular Degeneration Research (MDR) program by the BrightFocus Foundation has awarded more than $24 million to support research into the causes and potential preventions and treatments of macular degeneration disease. MDR is currently supporting 44 biomedical research projects after awarding 17 new grants. The Macular Disease Foundation Australia Research Grants Program has approximately $3.6 million to support world-leading Australian researchers across 18 research projects
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