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Bayer HealthCare and Regeneron initiate Phase 3 global development program for VEGF Trap-Eye in wet age-related macular degeneration (AMD)


Bayer HealthCare AG and Regeneron Pharmaceuticals, Inc. announced today that the companies have initiated a Phase 3 study of the VEGF Trap-Eye in the neovascular form of age-related macular degeneration (wet AMD). The study will be a non-inferiority comparison of the VEGF Trap-Eye and ranibizumab (Lucentis®, a registered trademark of Genentech, Inc.), an anti-angiogenic agent approved for use in wet AMD. The study will be conducted pursuant to a Special Protocol Assessment from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). This trial, known as VIEW 1 (VEGF Trap: Investigation of Efficacy and safety in Wet age-related macular degeneration), is the first study in the companies’ Phase 3 global development program in wet AMD which is planned to be carried out in the U.S., Europe and other parts of the world.

“Age-related macular degeneration continues to be one of the leading causes of blindness in adults, and new therapies are essential to providing optimal patient care,” stated Jeffrey Heier, M.D., a clinical ophthalmologist at Ophthalmic Consultants of Boston and chair of the steering committee for the trial. “The results of early phase studies of VEGF Trap-Eye suggest it has the potential to be a highly efficacious treatment with less frequent administration. If these results are confirmed in Phase 3 trials, it would be important for both patients and physicians and would be a significant advance in the treatment of these patients.”

“We will continue in our effort to improve the lives of patients suffering from wet AMD and the initiation of the first Phase 3 study is an important step forward in the development of this investigational therapy”, said Kemal Malik, M.D., Member of the Bayer HealthCare Executive Committee, responsible for Global Development. “Our program is designed to investigate VEGF Trap-Eye’s potential to improve vision in patients with wet AMD with less frequent dosing than every four weeks.“

The randomized, double-masked Phase 3 study, is expected to enroll approximately 1,200 patients in more than 200 centers throughout the United States and Canada. The study will evaluate the safety and efficacy of the VEGF Trap-Eye at doses of 0.5 milligrams (mg) and 2.0 mg administered at four-week dosing intervals and 2.0 mg at an eight-week dosing interval, compared to 0.5 mg of ranibizumab administered every four weeks, consistent with its labeled dosing schedule.

The primary endpoint of the study is the proportion of patients treated with the VEGF Trap-Eye who maintain or improve vision at the end of one year, compared to ranibizumab patients. Visual acuity is defined as the total number of letters read correctly on the Early Treatment Diabetic Retinopathy Study (ETDRS) chart. Maintenance of vision is defined as losing fewer than 3 lines (equivalent to 15 letters) on the ETDRS chart. After the first year of treatment, patients will continue to be treated and followed for another year.

In an analysis of interim data from the ongoing Phase 2 trial in wet AMD, where patients were treated with the VEGF Trap-Eye either monthly or quarterly, combined data for all patients demonstrated a statistically significant reduction in retinal thickness and improvement in visual acuity after 12 weeks, compared to baseline. There were no drug-related serious adverse events, and treatment with the VEGF Trap-Eye was generally well-tolerated. The most common adverse events were those typically associated with intravitreal injections. The interim results of this Phase 2 trial were presented at the annual meeting of the Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology (ARVO) this past May. The Companies expect to report final primary endpoint results of the trial at a scientific meeting later this quarter.

Bayer HealthCare and Regeneron are collaborating on the global development of the VEGF Trap-Eye for the treatment of wet AMD, diabetic eye diseases, and other eye diseases and disorders. Bayer HealthCare will market the VEGF Trap-Eye outside the United States, where the parties will share equally in profits from any future sales of the VEGF Trap-Eye. Regeneron maintains exclusive rights to the VEGF Trap-Eye in the United States.


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