Aflibercept for age-related macular degeneration: A game-changer or quiet addition?
• PURPOSE: To describe the pharmacokinetics, preclinical studies, and clinical trials of the newly approved anti-vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) drug aflibercept (Eylea (VEGF Trap-Eye); Regeneron; and Bayer). • DESIGN: Review with editorial commentary. • METHODS: A review of the medical literature and pertinent Internet postings combined with analysis of key studies with expert opinion regarding the use of aflibercept for the treatment of exudative age-related macular degeneration. • RESULTS: Aflibercept, a fusion protein with binding domains from native VEGF receptors, binds VEGF-A, VEGF-B, and placental growth factors 1 and 2 with high affinity. Preclinical ophthalmologic studies demonstrated that aflibercept suppresses choroidal neovascularization in several animal models. The results of phase 1 and 2 trials showed excellent short-term suppression of choroidal neovascularization in patients with exudative agerelated macular degeneration and suggested a longer durability of aflibercept compared with other anti-VEGF drugs. The pivotal phase 3 Vascular Endothelial Growth Factor (VEGF) Trap-Eye: Investigation of Efficacy and Safety in Wet Age-Related Macular Degeneration 1 and 2 trials showed that monthly and bimonthly aflibercept were noninferior to monthly ranibizumab at preventing vision loss (< 15-letter loss) with comparable vision gains and safety. Year 2 treatment involved monthly pro re nata injections with required injections every 3 months and maintained vision gains from the first year, with an average of 4.2 injections of aflibercept and 4.7 injections of ranibizumab. • CONCLUSIONS: Aflibercept promises to deliver excellent visual outcomes for exudative age-related macular degeneration patients while undergoing fewer injections compared with ranibizumab. With a wholesale cost of $1850 per dose, the cost per patient with aflibercept treatment promises to be lower than with ranibizumab. © 2012 by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Browning, DJ; Kaiser, PK; Rosenfeld, PJ; Stewart, MW
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