Swiss drugmaker Novartis has announced that their new anti-VEGF drug, brolucizumab (RTH258), is meeting expectations as a potentially more effective and longer lasting treatment for wet macular degeneration than at least one of the current options. Positive results from two Phase III studies of brolucizumab versus aflibercept (Eylea) were presented at the American Academy of Ophthalmology (AAO) Annual Meeting in November 2017.
The brolucizumab molecule is smaller than other available anti-VEGF neovascular AMD treatment options, which may allow delivery of a much higher dose. This would allow a potentially longer duration of effect and the possibility of a reduced number of injections. The study showed a potential of brolucizumab for up to 16-week dosing, which could address a significant unmet need in the treatment of patients with wet AMD by reducing treatment burden.
“We’re truly excited to share these data showing that brolucizumab clearly improves key anatomical outcomes that are biomarkers of disease,” said Vas Narasimhan, Global Head, Drug Development and Chief Medical Officer, Novartis. “Brolucizumab represents a major scientific and clinical advancement for patients, caregivers and retina specialists around the world.”
The TALON trial, designed to determine the optimum treatment interval, entered Phase 3b in the Fall of 2019.