- GA is an advanced form of age-related macular degeneration (AMD) and a leading cause of blindness that impacts approximately one million Americans
- Winkler and his family saw firsthand the impact of vision loss by caring for his father-in-law who was living with AMD
- Campaign encourages older adults to monitor and discuss vision changes with an eye doctor
WALTHAM, Mass., April 17, 2023 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Apellis Pharmaceuticals, Inc., (Nasdaq: APLS) today announced a new campaign with acclaimed actor Henry Winkler to raise awareness of geographic atrophy (GA), an advanced form of age-related macular degeneration (AMD) and a leading cause of blindness. The GA Won’t Wait™ campaign helps older adults and their families understand and recognize the symptoms of this progressive and irreversible disease. Together, Apellis and Winkler are empowering people over the age of 60 to monitor and discuss vision changes with an eye doctor, such as a retina specialist, ophthalmologist, or optometrist.
Winkler has personally seen how vision loss caused by AMD can affect an individual and their loved ones. His father-in-law Ed, with whom he shared a close relationship, was diagnosed with AMD, causing him to lose his central vision and, ultimately, his independence. As his vision loss progressed, Winkler recognized that aspects of his father-in-law’s everyday life became increasingly difficult, such as continuing his career in dentistry and eventually simple tasks like pouring a glass of water.
“Remembering my father-in-law Ed’s struggle with AMD is why I am partnering with Apellis to help older adults and their families become aware of GA. I saw firsthand how profoundly isolating vision loss may be for older adults,” said Winkler. “Though I am now around the same age as Ed when his vision started to decline, I have no plans to slow down. I am so passionate about prioritizing my eye health that I would carry my car to the eye doctor if I started to notice a change in my vision. That’s how on top of it you have to be.”
GA is a leading cause of blindness worldwide that impacts approximately one million people in the United States.1,2 Vision symptoms tend to get worse over time and the damage cannot be reversed or corrected with glasses or surgery. Symptoms include blurry or missing spots in a person’s vision, straight lines seeming wavy, and difficulty seeing in the dark. These symptoms often cause people with GA to lose the ability to take on daily tasks such as reading, driving, and recognizing faces.
“It is a common misconception that significant vision loss is a natural part of aging, which can cause patients to delay in seeking out important care,” said Caroline Baumal, M.D., chief medical officer, Apellis. “An early diagnosis is critical for this progressive disease, so we are thrilled to be working with Henry Winkler to help older adults learn about GA and reinforce that eye health should be prioritized as we age.”
To learn more, visit GAwontwait.com.
Apellis Pharmaceuticals, Inc. is a global biopharmaceutical company that combines courageous science and compassion to develop life-changing therapies for some of the most challenging diseases patients face. We ushered in the first new class of complement medicine in 15 years and now have two approved medicines targeting C3. With nearly a dozen clinical and pre-clinical programs underway, we believe we have only begun to unlock the potential of targeting C3 across many serious diseases. For more information, please visit http://apellis.com or follow us on Twitter and LinkedIn.
Apellis Forward-Looking Statement
Statements in this press release about future expectations, plans and prospects, as well as any other statements regarding matters that are not historical facts, may constitute “forward-looking statements” within the meaning of The Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. These statements include, but are not limited to, statements regarding timing of anticipated regulatory submissions or decisions. The words “anticipate,” “believe,” “continue,” “could,” “estimate,” “expect,” “intend,” “may,” “plan,” “potential,” “predict,” “project,” “should,” “target,” “will,” “would” and similar expressions are intended to identify forward-looking statements, although not all forward-looking statements contain these identifying words. Actual results may differ materially from those indicated by such forward-looking statements as a result of various important factors discussed in the “Risk Factors” section of Apellis’ Annual Report on Form 10-K with the Securities and Exchange Commission on February 21, 2023 and the risks described in other filings that Apellis may make with the Securities and Exchange Commission. Any forward-looking statements contained in this press release speak only as of the date hereof, and Apellis specifically disclaims any obligation to update any forward-looking statement, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise.
1Rudnicka AR, Jarrar Z, Wormald R, et al. Age and gender variations in age-related macular degeneration prevalence in populations of European ancestry: a meta analysis. Ophthalmology 2012;119:571–580.
2Wong WL, Su X, Li X, et al. Global prevalence of age-related macular degeneration and disease burden projection for 2020 and 2040: a systematic review and meta-analysis. Lancet Glob Health 2014;2:e106–116.