Regeneron Pharmaceuticals has announced that the FDA has approved extending the dosage regimen of EYLEA, its proprietary drug for treatment of wet macular degeneration (AMD).The decision was based on second-year data from the Phase 3 VIEW 1 and 2 trials in which patients were treated with doses given at least every 12 weeks plus additional doses as needed. These data are now included on the updated EYLEA label. EYLEA is also approved in wet AMD for every four- or eight-week dosing intervals after three initial monthly doses. Whether or not to extend treatment to 12-week intervals will be determined by the doctor based upon individual needs and outcomes.
Interestingly, Regeneron’s competitor, Genentech Pharmaceuticals, has just recently revealed positive results from ongoing trials of its new refillable Port Delivery System, a tiny implanted timed-release capsule that can deliver the company’s proprietary drug, Lucentis, for up to 12 weeks.
Patients are looking forward to the possibility of extended treatment intervals however they are made available. A small survey conducted by MD Support in August 2018 showed that patients dislike frequent clinical visits, but that they equally dislike frequent injections. Regeneron is striving to relieve that aspect of the treatment burden, and Genentech is working toward eliminating the discomfort and risks of injections altogether. Both are bringing good news to doctors and patients alike.