Dr. Gregg Kokame is considered a world leader in polypoidal choroidal vasculopathy (PCV) research. He has participated in numerous clinical trials on age-related macular degeneration (AMD) management, including the MARINA, FOCUS, HORIZON, HAROR, and VIEW1 studies. He conducted investigator-sponsored clinical trials on PCV in the PEARL, PEARL2, and EPIC studies. His thesis to the American Ophthalmological Society demonstrated that PCV is a type of subretinal neovascularization and a subtype of wet AMD.
In Taiwan, however, PCV remains classified as a separate disease from wet AMD. Therefore, it it is prohibited to treat PCV with Aflibercept (Eylea) in Taiwan. Eylea is a medicine that prevents abnormal blood vessel growth and leakage through inhibiting vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF). In the EPIC study, an ongoing prospective, open-label clinical trial of Eylea against PCV, patients diagnosed with PCV were treated with 2.0mg Eylea over the course of two years. A higher polyp closure rate and decrease in retinal pigment epithelial detachments were observed in the 6-month results when compared to ranibizumab (Lucentis).
While his work has brought the latest scientific breakthroughs to Hawaii, the goal of the Hawaii Macula and Retina Institute is to conduct “revolutionary research with worldwide impact.” Dr. Kokame traveled to Taiwan and Korea in April 2015 to present his research. He talked in Taipei, Kaohsiung, Seoul, and Busan. The research performed at the Hawaii Macula and Retina Institute may convince the TFDA to approve Eylea for PCV and truly impact the eyesight and standard of living for a population of 22 million people.