PHOTON and PULSAR data presentations demonstrate aflibercept 8 mg led to sustained improvements in vision and anatomic measures of retinal fluid across the 48-week treatment period in both 12- and 16-week dosing regimens
TARRYTOWN, N.Y., Sept. 30, 2022 /PRNewswire/ -- Regeneron Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (NASDAQ: REGN) today announced the first presentations of positive detailed results from two pivotal trials investigating novel aflibercept 8 mg with 12- and 16-week dosing regimens, compared to EYLEA® (aflibercept) Injection, in patients with diabetic macular edema (DME) and wet age-related macular degeneration (wAMD). The data were presented in a late-breaking session at the American Academy of Ophthalmology (AAO) annual meeting in Chicago and will support the submission of a new Biologics License Application to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration by early 2023.
"Our presentations at AAO demonstrate that aflibercept 8 mg 12- and 16-week dosing regimens have achieved a high bar, sustaining improvements in visual acuity and anatomic measures of retinal fluid across 48 weeks in patients with diabetic macular edema and wet age-related macular degeneration," said George D. Yancopoulos, M.D., Ph.D., President and Chief Scientific Officer at Regeneron, and a principal inventor of aflibercept. "These results were all achieved in patients who were rapidly initiated on extended dosing intervals with the vast majority not requiring regimen modification. Altogether, the pivotal data support aflibercept 8 mg as providing a longer duration of action while maintaining a safety profile similar to EYLEA."
As presented at AAO, the PHOTON trial in DME and the PULSAR trial in wAMD both met the same primary endpoint. Aflibercept 8 mg demonstrated non-inferiority in vision gains in both the 12- and 16-week dosing regimens after initial monthly doses at 48 weeks compared to an EYLEA 8-week dosing regimen. Furthermore, 91% and 89% of DME patients and 79% and 77% of wAMD patients respectively randomized to 12- and 16-week dosing maintained those intervals through 48 weeks. The safety of aflibercept 8 mg was similar to EYLEA in both trials, and consistent with the known safety profile of EYLEA from previous clinical trials. Comparing aflibercept 8 mg to EYLEA, ocular adverse events occurred in 31% versus 28% in PHOTON and 38% versus 39% in PULSAR, and there were no cases of retinal vasculitis, occlusive retinitis or endophthalmitis in either trial.
Aflibercept 8 mg is being jointly developed by Regeneron and Bayer AG. In the U.S., Regeneron maintains exclusive rights to EYLEA and aflibercept 8 mg. Bayer has licensed the exclusive marketing rights outside of the U.S., where the companies share equally the profits from sales of EYLEA.
Aflibercept 8 mg is investigational, and its safety and efficacy have not been evaluated by any regulatory authority.
About the Aflibercept 8 mg Trial Program
PHOTON in DME (N=658) and PULSAR in wAMD (N=1,009) are double-masked, active-controlled pivotal trials that are being conducted in multiple centers globally. In both trials, patients were randomized into 3 treatment groups to receive either: aflibercept 8 mg every 12 weeks, aflibercept 8 mg every 16 weeks, or EYLEA every 8 weeks.
Patients treated with aflibercept 8 mg in both trials had 3 initial monthly doses, and patients treated with EYLEA received 5 initial monthly doses in PHOTON and 3 in PULSAR. In the first year, patients in the aflibercept 8 mg groups could have their dosing intervals shortened down to an every 8-week interval if protocol-defined criteria for disease progression were observed. Intervals could not be extended until the second year of the study, with those results still to be assessed. Patients in all EYLEA groups maintained a fixed 8-week dosing regimen throughout their participation in the trials.
The lead sponsors of the trials were Regeneron for PHOTON and Bayer for PULSAR.
About DME and wAMD
DME is a common complication in eyes of people living with diabetes. DME occurs when high levels of blood sugar lead to damaged blood vessels in the eye that leak fluid into the macula. This can lead to vision loss and, in some cases, blindness. Of the nearly 28 million American adults living with diabetes, an estimated 1.2 million have DME.
wAMD is a retinal disease that may affect people as they age. It occurs when abnormal blood vessels grow and leak fluid under the macula, the part of the eye responsible for sharp central vision and seeing fine detail. This fluid can damage and scar the macula, which can cause vision loss. An estimated 1.1 million Americans have wAMD, and this number is expected to double by 2050.
IMPORTANT EYLEA SAFETY INFORMATION AND INDICATIONS
EYLEA® (aflibercept) Injection 2 mg (0.05 mL) is indicated for the treatment of patients with Neovascular (Wet) Age-related Macular Degeneration (AMD), Macular Edema following Retinal Vein Occlusion (RVO), Diabetic Macular Edema (DME), and Diabetic Retinopathy (DR).
EYLEA is contraindicated in patients with ocular or periocular infections, active intraocular inflammation, or known hypersensitivity to aflibercept or to any of the excipients in EYLEA.
WARNINGS AND PRECAUTIONS
Intravitreal injections, including those with EYLEA, have been associated with endophthalmitis and retinal detachments. Proper aseptic injection technique must always be used when administering EYLEA. Patients should be instructed to report any symptoms suggestive of endophthalmitis or retinal detachment without delay and should be managed appropriately. Intraocular inflammation has been reported with the use of EYLEA.
Acute increases in intraocular pressure have been seen within 60 minutes of intravitreal injection, including with EYLEA. Sustained increases in intraocular pressure have also been reported after repeated intravitreal dosing with VEGF inhibitors. Intraocular pressure and the perfusion of the optic nerve head should be monitored and managed appropriately.
There is a potential risk of arterial thromboembolic events (ATEs) following intravitreal use of VEGF inhibitors, including EYLEA. ATEs are defined as nonfatal stroke, nonfatal myocardial infarction, or vascular death (including deaths of unknown cause). The incidence of reported thromboembolic events in wet AMD studies during the first year was 1.8% (32 out of 1824) in the combined group of patients treated with EYLEA compared with 1.5% (9 out of 595) in patients treated with ranibizumab; through 96 weeks, the incidence was 3.3% (60 out of 1824) in the EYLEA group compared with 3.2% (19 out of 595) in the ranibizumab group. The incidence in the DME studies from baseline to week 52 was 3.3% (19 out of 578) in the combined group of patients treated with EYLEA compared with 2.8% (8 out of 287) in the control group; from baseline to week 100, the incidence was 6.4% (37 out of 578) in the combined group of patients treated with EYLEA compared with 4.2% (12 out of 287) in the control group. There were no reported thromboembolic events in the patients treated with EYLEA in the first six months of the RVO studies.
Serious adverse reactions related to the injection procedure have occurred in <0.1% of intravitreal injections with EYLEA including endophthalmitis and retinal detachment.
The most common adverse reactions (≥5%) reported in patients receiving EYLEA were conjunctival hemorrhage, eye pain, cataract, vitreous detachment, vitreous floaters, and intraocular pressure increased.
Patients may experience temporary visual disturbances after an intravitreal injection with EYLEA and the associated eye examinations. Advise patients not to drive or use machinery until visual function has recovered sufficiently.
For more information, please see full Prescribing Information.
Regeneron (NASDAQ: REGN) is a leading biotechnology company that invents, develops and commercializes life-transforming medicines for people with serious diseases. Founded and led for nearly 35 years by physician-scientists, our unique ability to repeatedly and consistently translate science into medicine has led to nine FDA-approved treatments and numerous product candidates in development, almost all of which were homegrown in our laboratories. Our medicines and pipeline are designed to help patients with eye diseases, allergic and inflammatory diseases, cancer, cardiovascular and metabolic diseases, pain, hematologic conditions, infectious diseases and rare diseases.
Regeneron is accelerating and improving the traditional drug development process through our proprietary VelociSuite® technologies, such as VelocImmune®, which uses unique genetically humanized mice to produce optimized fully human antibodies and bispecific antibodies, and through ambitious research initiatives such as the Regeneron Genetics Center®, which is conducting one of the largest genetics sequencing efforts in the world.
For more information, please visit www.Regeneron.com or follow @Regeneron on Twitter.
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