Choroidal neovascularization (CNV) involves the development of new blood vessels that originate from the choroidal layer of the eye and invade the outer retina. CNV is the hallmark lesion of wet macular degeneration, a more advanced type of age-related macular degeneration (AMD) responsible for severe vision loss. Developing effective new treatments for CNV requires accurate safety and efficacy models, and an experienced staff skilled in data collection. MPI Research specializes in ophthalmology, and we provide the full spectrum of ocular expertise and offerings, including validated disease models for complex ophthalmic studies such as CNV.
Laser‐induced CNV Swine Model
In the development of ophthalmic treatments and therapies, large animal models play an important role. In addition to demonstrating efficacy in a second species beyond rodents, large animal models with human-sized globes allow identical drug delivery routes and volumes, and use of clinical in vivo monitoring techniques.
In collaboration with EyeCRO, MPI Research developed a swine model of laser-induced CNV with refinements in methodology that resulted in improved lesion reproducibility and minimization of secondary retinal damage compared to existing non-human primate models. The improvements in lesion reproducibility and quantification result in fewer animals needed for statistically meaningful studies. In addition to streamlining the collection and analysis of high-quality images, placement of lesions in linear fashion allows for a high recovery rate of lesions using standard ocular sectioning protocols and facilitates histopathology and immunohistochemistry assessments by our team of board-certified veterinary pathologists. The scientists at MPI Research are also fully equipped to perform microdissection of ocular tissues and perform bioanalytical and analytical testing.
Laser‐induced CNV Rat Model
The rat laser CNV model has been a reliable animal surrogate in the development of therapeutics to treat retinal diseases, such as wet AMD. The pathogenesis of lesion development and regression appears to be conserved amongst lower mammals, as rodents have been largely predictive of efficacy observed in non-human primates, and subsequently in human clinical trials. EyeCRO developed more robust and reproducible methods for laser CNV in rats using a Micron III small animal funduscope (Phoenix Research Inc.). This system allows for the fine manipulation of laser focusing and the performance of non-invasive fluorescein angiography without having to sacrifice the animals. The same eyes can be used for lesion quantification at multiple time points and the eye tissues can be harvested at study termination for secondary endpoints using ELISA- and RT-qPCR-based assays, immunoblot analysis, LC-MS/MS quantification of drug, or immunohistochemistry.