FDA approves Eylea for wet AMD treatment

January 27, 2012

Regeneron Pharmaceuticals, Inc. last month announced the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) had approved Eylea (aflibercept) injection for the treatment of patients with neovascular (wet) age-related macular degeneration (AMD) at a recommended dose of 2 milligrams every four weeks (or monthly) for the first 12 weeks, followed by 2 milligrams every eight weeks (two months).

The approval of Eylea was granted under a Priority Review, a designation given to drugs offering major advances in treatment or providing a treatment where no adequate therapy exists.

This approval was based upon the results of two Phase-3 clinical studies. In these studies, Eylea dosed every eight weeks, following three initial monthly injections, was clinically equivalent to the standard of care, Lucentis® (ranibizumab injection) dosed every four weeks, as measured by the primary endpoint of maintenance of visual acuity (less than 15 letters of vision loss on an eye chart) over 52 weeks.

The most common adverse reactions (frequency of 5 percent or more) reported in patients receiving Eylea were conjunctival hemorrhage, eye pain, cataract, vitreous detachment, vitreous floaters, and increased intraocular pressure. The adverse event profile was similar to that seen with ranibizumab.

“The approval of Eylea offers a much-needed new treatment option for patients with wet AMD,” said Jeffrey Heier, M.D., a clinical ophthalmologist and retinal specialist at Ophthalmic Consultants of Boston, assistant professor of ophthalmology at Tufts School of Medicine, and chair of the Steering Committee for the VIEW 1 trial. “Eylea offers the potential of achieving the efficacy we’ve come to expect from current anti-VEGF agents, but with less frequent injections and no monitoring requirements. This may reduce the need for costly and time-consuming monthly office visits for patients and their caregivers.”

“This approval is an important step forward for Regeneron and for patients suffering with wet AMD, the most common cause of blindness in the U.S. in older adults,” said Leonard S. Schleifer, M.D., Ph.D., president and chief executive officer of Regeneron. “We thank the patients and clinical investigators who participated in our clinical studies, the FDA, and the Regeneron employees who helped make this day possible. Now that Eylea is approved, we plan to make Eylea available to patients within the next few days.”

For more information, visit www.regeneron.com.

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