Hemera Bioscience Inc. is designing its MAC-based gene therapy to help treat dry and wet age-related macular degeneration more safely than other therapies targeting the complement pathway in ocular diseases. It also may offer more convenient dosing and treat a wider variety of AMD types than marketed injectable VEGF inhibitors.

Both the wet and dry forms of AMD are characterized by over-activation of the complement cascade. While the cascade plays a key role in maintaining the homeostasis of eye supporting tissue and in helping the innate immune system respond to infection, over-activation of the cascade in the retina is associated with chronic pro-inflammatory damage that can lead to blindness.