A new medication developed by Bayer has been approved in Australia to treat Wet Age-related Macular Degeneration.
The Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) approved Eylea (aflibercept) based on the results of two large pivotal phase III clinical trials – known as VIEW 1 and VIEW 2. The combined analysis of the VIEW studies showed that patients treated with Eylea every eight weeks, following three initial four-weekly doses, maintained similar visual acuity to those patients treated with the current standard of care, ranibizumab: 95 per cent vs. 94 per cent respectively. Importantly Eylea eight-weekly required less frequent injections.
Commenting on the TGA approval of Eylea, Professor Paul Mitchell, Discipline of Ophthalmology at the University of Sydney (Westmead Hospital), said fewer injections could substantially improve the quality of life of patients with wet AMD and help overcome some of the barriers to treatment, including cost, injection fatigue, and waiting time.
The company described Eylea as a recombinant fusion protein that works by trapping excess VEGF in the eye and claimed it has a higher binding affinity to native VEGF receptors than ranibizumab. Trapping excess VEGF limits the growth of abnormal blood vessels and hence reduces leakage.