‒ Post-hoc analyses from four Phase III studies indicate Vabysmo dried retinal fluid faster with fewer injections in wet age-related macular degeneration (AMD) and diabetic macular edema (DME) –
‒ More Vabysmo patients with wet AMD had absence of retinal fluid at 12 weeks in a post-hoc analysis from the Phase III TENAYA and LUCERNE studies –
‒ DME patients treated with Vabysmo had less blood vessel leakage in the macula at 16 weeks in a post-hoc analysis from the Phase III YOSEMITE and RHINE studies –
Genentech, a member of the Roche Group (SIX: RO, ROG; OTCQX: RHHBY), today announced that post-hoc data indicate treatment with Vabysmo® (faricimab-svoa) led to greater and faster drying of retinal fluid with fewer injections compared to aflibercept in wet, or neovascular, age-related macular degeneration (AMD). In diabetic macular edema (DME), post-hoc data suggest Vabysmo treatment resulted in faster drying with fewer injections as well as less blood vessel leakage in the macula, the center of the retina, compared to aflibercept. The analyses from the Phase III TENAYA and LUCERNE (wet AMD) and YOSEMITE and RHINE (DME) studies were shared in three presentations at the 2023 Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology (ARVO) Annual Meeting held from April 23-27 in New Orleans, LA.
“Reducing retinal fluid is associated with improved vision,” said Levi Garraway, M.D., Ph.D., chief medical officer and head of Global Product Development. “These data continue to reinforce Vabysmo's ability to dry the retina and potential to make a meaningful difference for people with vision-threatening eye conditions.”
Vabysmo is the first bispecific antibody for the eye and is currently approved in 60 countries to treat wet AMD and DME, with more than 800,000 Vabysmo doses distributed globally. Wet AMD and DME are two leading causes of vision loss, together affecting more than two million people in the United States and 40 million people globally. In these conditions, blood vessel leakage can cause a build up of fluid and swelling in the back of the eye, contributing to sight loss.
“These findings suggest that Vabysmo may provide better stability of blood vessels in the macula,” said Roger Goldberg, M.D., MBA, an ophthalmologist at Bay Area Retina Associates in Walnut Creek, Calif. and a Vabysmo Phase III study investigator. “Blood vessel stability may contribute to faster drying and extended durability.”
Data on retinal drying in wet AMD
A post-hoc analysis of pooled data from the head-to-head dosing period (weeks 0-12) of the Phase III TENAYA and LUCERNE studies in wet AMD showed:*
Vabysmo reduced retinal fluid from baseline compared to aflibercept, as measured by reduction in central subfield thickness (CST).
- At 12 weeks, CST reductions were 145 µm in the Vabysmo arm and 133 µm in the aflibercept arm.
- A larger proportion of Vabysmo patients (77%) had absence of retinal fluid at 12 weeks versus aflibercept (67%), as measured by subretinal and intraretinal fluid (SRF and IRF).
- Absence of retinal fluid, as measured by absence of SRF and IRF observed in 75% of patients in each treatment arm, occurred at eight weeks with Vabysmo versus 12 weeks with aflibercept, corresponding to a fewer number of injections for Vabysmo patients versus aflibercept.
Data on retinal drying and blood vessel leakage in DME
A post-hoc analysis of pooled two-year data from the Phase III YOSEMITE and RHINE studies in DME compared time to fluid control between Vabysmo and aflibercept, as measured by absence of DME and absence of IRF. The analysis showed:*
- Absence of DME, defined as CST <325 µm observed in 75% of patients in each treatment arm, occurred at 20 weeks with Vabysmo versus 36 weeks with aflibercept – a difference of nearly four months.
Absence of retinal fluid, as measured by absence of IRF observed in 50% of patients in each treatment arm, occurred more than eight months earlier in Vabysmo patients versus aflibercept.
- Absence of IRF occurred at 48 weeks with Vabysmo versus 84 weeks with aflibercept, corresponding to a fewer number of injections for Vabysmo patients versus aflibercept.
A separate post-hoc analysis of pooled data from the head-to-head dosing period (weeks 0-16) of the YOSEMITE and RHINE studies evaluated blood vessel leakage in the macula – an important marker of vascular stability. Blood vessel leakage in the macula may lead to more retinal fluid, which can cause swelling and blurry vision. Results showed:*
The macular leakage area in Vabysmo patients was more than 50% smaller compared to aflibercept at 16 weeks.
- Vabysmo reduced the macular leakage area to 3.6 mm2 from baseline compared to 7.6 mm2 with aflibercept.
- Nearly twice as many patients (28.4%) had resolution of leakage versus aflibercept (15.2%) at 16 weeks.
*P-values are nominal and not adjusted for multiplicity; no formal statistical conclusion should be made based on the P-values.
About the TENAYA and LUCERNE Studies
TENAYA (NCT03823287) and LUCERNE (NCT03823300) are two identical, randomized, multicenter, double-masked, global Phase III studies evaluating the efficacy and safety of Vabysmo compared to aflibercept in 1,329 people living with wet AMD (671 in TENAYA and 658 in LUCERNE). The studies each have two treatment arms: Vabysmo 6 mg administered at intervals of two, three, or four months, following four initial monthly doses, selected based on objective assessment of disease activity as measured by optical coherence tomography and visual acuity evaluations at weeks 20 and 24; and aflibercept 2 mg administered at fixed two-month intervals after three initial monthly doses. At week 60, patients randomized to the Vabysmo arm were treated using a treat-and-extend approach up to week 108. The dosing schedule for Vabysmo patients during the treat-and-extend phase was adjusted based on treatment response as determined by CST and visual acuity. In both arms, sham injections were administered at study visits when treatment injections were not scheduled to maintain the masking of investigators and participants.
The primary endpoint of the studies is the average change in best-corrected visual acuity (BCVA) score (the best distance vision a person can achieve – including with correction such as glasses – when reading letters on an eye chart) from baseline, averaged over weeks 40, 44, and 48. Secondary endpoints include safety; the percentage of participants in the Vabysmo arm receiving treatment every two, three, and four months; the percentage of participants achieving a gain, and the percentage avoiding a loss, of 15 letters or more in BCVA from baseline over time; and change in CST from baseline over time.
About the YOSEMITE and RHINE Studies
YOSEMITE (NCT03622580) and RHINE (NCT03622593) are two identical, randomized, multicenter, double-masked, global Phase III studies evaluating the efficacy and safety of Vabysmo compared to aflibercept in 1,891 people with diabetic macular edema (940 in YOSEMITE and 951 in RHINE). The studies each have three treatment arms: Vabysmo 6.0 mg administered up to every four months after four initial monthly doses using a treat-and-extend approach; Vabysmo 6.0 mg administered at two-month intervals after six initial monthly doses; and aflibercept administered at fixed two-month intervals after five initial monthly doses. The dosing schedule for patients within the treat-and-extend arm was determined by CST and visual acuity. In all three arms, sham injections were administered at study visits when treatment injections were not scheduled to maintain the masking of investigators and participants.
The primary endpoint of the studies is the average change in BCVA score (the best distance vision a person can achieve – including with correction such as glasses – when reading letters on an eye chart) from baseline at one year, averaged over weeks 48, 52, and 56. Secondary endpoints include: safety; the percentage of participants in the treat-and-extend arm receiving Vabysmo every one, two, three, and four months, at week 52; the percentage of participants achieving a two-step or greater improvement from baseline in diabetic retinopathy severity at week 52; the percentage of participants achieving a gain, and the percentage avoiding a loss, of 15 letters or more in BCVA from baseline over time; change in CST from baseline over time; and percentage of patients with absence of intraretinal fluid over time.
About Wet Age-Related Macular Degeneration
Age-related macular degeneration (AMD) is a condition that affects the macula, the part of the eye that provides sharp, central vision needed for activities like reading, and is a leading cause of blindness for people aged 60 and over in the U.S. Wet, or neovascular, AMD is an advanced form of the disease that can cause rapid and severe vision loss. Approximately 20 million people in the U.S. have some form of AMD, and of those, about 1.5 million have late-stage AMD, which includes wet AMD.
Wet AMD is caused by growth of abnormal blood vessels, also referred to as choroidal neovascularization (CNV), into the macula. These vessels leak fluid and blood and cause scar tissue that destroys the central retina. This process results in a deterioration of sight over a period of months to years.
About Diabetic Macular Edema
Affecting approximately 750,000 people in the U.S., diabetic macular edema (DME) is a vision-threatening retinal condition associated with blindness and decreased quality of life when left untreated. DME occurs when damaged blood vessels in the retina leak into and cause swelling in the macula – the central area of the retina responsible for the sharp vision needed for reading and driving. The number of people with DME is expected to grow as the prevalence of diabetes increases.
About the Vabysmo® (faricimab-svoa) Clinical Development Program
Genentech has a robust Phase III clinical development program for Vabysmo. The program includes AVONELLE-X, an extension study of TENAYA and LUCERNE evaluating the long-term safety and tolerability of Vabysmo in wet, or neovascular, macular degeneration (AMD), and RHONE-X, an extension study of YOSEMITE and RHINE evaluating the long-term safety and tolerability of Vabysmo in diabetic macular edema (DME). In addition, Genentech is investigating the efficacy and safety of Vabysmo in people with macular edema following retinal vein occlusion in two Phase III studies, BALATON and COMINO. Genentech has also initiated several Phase IV studies, including the Elevatum study of Vabysmo in underrepresented patient populations with DME, the SALWEEN study of Vabysmo in a subpopulation of wet AMD highly prevalent in Asia, as well as the VOYAGER study, a global real-world data collection platform. Genentech also supports several other independent studies to further understand retinal conditions with a high unmet need.
About Vabysmo® (faricimab-svoa)
Vabysmo (faricimab-svoa) is the first bispecific antibody approved for the eye. It targets and inhibits two disease pathways linked to a number of vision-threatening retinal conditions by neutralizing angiopoietin-2 (Ang-2) and vascular endothelial growth factor-A (VEGF-A). While research is underway to better understand the role of the Ang-2 pathway in retinal disease, Ang-2 and VEGF-A are thought to contribute to vision loss by destabilizing blood vessels, which may cause new leaky blood vessels to form and increase inflammation. By blocking pathways involving Ang-2 and VEGF-A, Vabysmo is designed to stabilize blood vessels.
Vabysmo U.S. Indications
Vabysmo (faricimab-svoa) is a prescription medicine given by injection into the eye, used to treat adults with neovascular (wet) age‑related macular degeneration (AMD) and diabetic macular edema (DME).
Important Safety Information
Vabysmo is contraindicated in patients who have an infection in or around their eye, have active swelling around their eye that may include pain and redness, or are allergic to Vabysmo or any of the ingredients in Vabysmo.
Warnings and Precautions
- Injections like the one for Vabysmo can cause an eye infection (endophthalmitis) or separation of layers of the retina (retinal detachment). Patients should seek medical care if they experience increasing eye pain, vision loss, sensitivity to light, or redness in the white of the eye.
- Vabysmo may cause a temporary increase in pressure in the eye (intraocular pressure), which occurs 60 minutes after the injection.
- Although not common, Vabysmo patients have had serious, sometimes fatal, problems related to blood clots, such as heart attacks or strokes (thromboembolic events). In clinical studies for wet AMD during the first year, 7 out of 664 patients treated with Vabysmo reported such an event. In DME studies from baseline to week 100, 64 out of 1,262 patients treated with Vabysmo reported such an event.
The most common adverse reactions (≥5%) reported in patients receiving Vabysmo were cataract (15%) and blood on the white of the eye (conjunctival hemorrhage, 7%). These are not all the possible side effects of Vabysmo.
Pregnancy, Lactation, Females and Males of Reproductive Potential
- Based on how Vabysmo interacts with your body, there may be a potential risk to an unborn baby. Patients should use birth control before their first injection, during their treatment with Vabysmo, and for 3 months after their last dose of Vabysmo.
- It is not known if Vabysmo passes into breast milk. Patients should talk to their healthcare provider about the best way to feed their baby if they receive Vabysmo.
Patients may report side effects to the FDA at (800) FDA-1088 or http://www.fda.gov/medwatch. Patients may also report side effects to Genentech at (888) 835-2555.
About Genentech in Ophthalmology
Genentech is researching and developing new treatments for people living with a range of eye diseases that cause significant visual impairment and blindness, including wet age-related macular degeneration (AMD), diabetic macular edema (DME), diabetic retinopathy (DR), geographic atrophy (GA), and other retinal diseases.
Founded more than 40 years ago, Genentech is a leading biotechnology company that discovers, develops, manufactures and commercializes medicines to treat patients with serious and life-threatening medical conditions. The company, a member of the Roche Group, has headquarters in South San Francisco, California. For additional information about the company, please visit http://www.gene.com.
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