AMD Clinical Trial Update on Next-GEN Anti-VEGF Treatment

Roche has released the results of a Phase 3 trial of a next-generation anti-VEGF treatment, faricimab, for wet age-related macular degeneration (wet AMD). Anti-VEGF treatments work by blocking the VEGF molecule which promotes uncontrolled blood vessel growth in diseases like diabetic macular edema (DME) and wet age-related macular degeneration (wet AMD).

Faricimab is different because in addition to blocking VEGF, it also blocks a molecule called angiopoetin-2 (Ang-2) which also promotes blood vessel growth. There is hope is that this new treatment might be more potent than traditional anti-VEGFs because it’s attacking the problem (blood vessel growth) in two different ways. In brief, this trial showed that faricimab was as effective as another anti- VEGF (aflibercept (Eylea®)) treatment in maintaining or improving vision for patients newly diagnosed with wet AMD. 45% of patients taking faricimab were able to wait 16 weeks in between injections.

This suggests that some patients diagnosed with wet AMD may have a new treatment option that could reduce how frequently they need to get anti-VEGF injections. Importantly, there were no unexpected negative side effects. Based on the strength of this data, Roche will be submitting faricimab for approval starting with the FDA in the U.S.

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