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News & Trends - Pharmaceuticals

Novartis offers new hope in improving vision for AMD patients

Health Industry Hub | October 14, 2019 |

Novartis announced that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved Beovu (brolucizumab) eye injection for the treatment of wet age-related macular degeneration (AMD).

Beovu is the first FDA approved anti-VEGF to offer both greater fluid resolution versus its key competitor aflibercept (Eylea from Bayer) and the ability to maintain eligible wet AMD patients on a three-month dosing interval immediately after a three-month loading phase with uncompromised efficacy.

“Beovu meets our goals in clinical practice for treating wet AMD: improving vision and drying retinal fluid,” said Dr. Pravin U. Dugel, Managing Partner, Retinal Consultants of Arizona; Clinical Professor, Roski Eye Institute, Keck School of Medicine, University of Southern California; and principal investigator of the HAWK clinical trial. “With Beovu, greater fluid reduction was demonstrated through larger decreases in retinal thickness and a higher proportion of patients with drier retinas. Coupled with the potential to treat patients with quarterly injections, this approval may change the way we approach the treatment of wet AMD.”

The approval of Beovu was based on findings from the Phase III HAWK and HARRIER clinical trials, in which Beovu demonstrated non-inferiority versus its key competitor aflibercept in mean change in best-corrected visual acuity (BCVA) at year one (week 48).

Wet AMD is a chronic, degenerative eye disease caused by an excess of VEGF, a protein that promotes the growth of abnormal blood vessels underneath the macula, the area of the retina responsible for sharp, central vision. Fluid that leaks out of these abnormal blood vessels disrupts the normal retinal structure and ultimately damages the macula.

“The approval of Beovu delivers on the Novartis commitment to reimagining treatments for patients suffering from serious visual impairment,” said Marie-France Tschudin, President, Novartis Pharmaceuticals. “Beovu is the first to offer less frequent dosing in the first year of therapy while maintaining its effectiveness. This gives more time for wet AMD patients to focus on what’s important in their lives.”

“As sight disappears, so does a person’s connection to the world,” said Dawn Prall, Founder and  Executive Director, The Support Sight Foundation. “We welcome a new treatment that helps maintain vision and has the potential for quarterly treatments, which can reduce the burden on patients and their caregivers and help people with wet AMD keep doing what they love with the people they love.”

Novartis is proud to be partnering with patient advocacy organisations to deliver educational materials for patients and caregivers, with the goal of empowering wet AMD patients to live safely and independently.

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