Over the past 12 months, there have been many developments in regard to age-related macular degeneration (AMD). After positive 1-year data from the VIEW 1 and VIEW 2 trials were released, aflibercept (Eylea, Regeneron) was approved for neovascular AMD with labeling recommending less frequent injections than ranibizumab (Lucentis, Genentech) after 3 monthly loading doses. Subsequent 2- year data from the phase 3 trials held up the positive safety and efficacy evidence from year 1, although questions remain as to the long-term difference in treatment intervals between the 2 approved drugs with realworld dosing regimens.
The 1-year results from the CATT were also released at the Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology meeting in May 2011 and published in the New England Journal of Medicine. Although many of us were not surprised to learn that, with respect to visual outcome, bevacizumab (Avastin, Genentech) was found to be noninferior to ranibizumab, the prn arms did quite well when compared with the monthly arms. Additionally, the similarity of the duration of action of these 2 drugs could be seen as a surprise (albeit not a big surprise), as the molecular size of bevacizumab is significantly larger.
As the events of the past year suggest, the management of neovascular AMD will continue to evolve. We are fortunate to now have 2 approved and highly effective agents (as well as a seemingly equivalent off-label option) to treat this important age-related disease at a time when the population is aging. As molecular explorations yield new approaches and combination therapies and drug delivery devices hopefully demonstrate their safety and effectiveness in coming years, those of us in the retina subspecialty may have the opportunity to work together to devise more sustainable treatment regimens to combat this sightthreatening progressive disease.
TOP 5 ARTICLES FROM 2012
- Treatment of Retinal Vein Occlusion
Individualized therapy is crucial to good patient outcomes.
By Gaurav K. Shah, MD
- Treatment of Vitreomacular Adhesion: Present Status, Future Prospects
The technology is already in use for diagnosis and management of some conditions.
By J. Sebag, MD, FACS, FRCOphth, FARVO
- Intravitreal Aflibercept for AMD: 2-year Results
The VIEW 1 and 2 studies showed high degrees of safety and efficacy at 2 years.
By Jeffery S. Heier, MD
- Ocular Drug Delivery Systems for the Posterior Segment: A Review
By Noriyuki Kuno, PhD; and Shinobu Fujii
- A New Focus on the Vitreous and Its Role in Retinal Function
By Pravin U. Dugel, MD