A new drug could help patients with wet maculopathy. Age-related macular degeneration affects over 1 million Italians and can be wet or dry. A ‘hole’ in the center of the field of vision that makes it impossible to read, drive and very difficult to leave the house independently.
Now this pathology could be cured with a treatment that involves longer intervals, up to six months between one administration and another. The first positive opinion for aflibercept it arrived from the European regulatory body, EMA, and the final approval is expected within a few months. In Italy, approval is expected by 2024. The announcement came from Floretina ICOOR, the international congress on retinal pathologies just concluded in Rome, where the results of studies on the drug were presented which demonstrated lasting control over the disease even with prolonged treatment intervals of up to 6 months.
The new drug
The time is therefore approaching when patients with wet maculopathy, the less common form caused by an abnormal growth of blood vessels under the macula, will be able to take advantage of this new formulation of the drug aflibercept which will allow the intervals between one intravitreal injection and another to be extended up to 6 months, in two important retinal diseases that can lead to blindness: wet macular degeneration and diabetic macular edema.
“The clinical studies conducted with aflibercept 8 mg have demonstrated the maintenance of the results of the therapy over time with control of the retinal fluid and an optimal safety profile even with prolonged treatment intervals of up to 6 months – he comments Stanislao Rizzo, president of Floretina ICOOR, director of the ophthalmology department of the Policlinico A. Gemelli IRCCS and professor of ophthalmology at the Catholic University of the Sacred Heart -. With this new formulation a great achievement has been achieved not only for patients but also for their caregivers and for the hospital facilities that provide the therapies, allowing a greater number of patients to be followed. We are confident in the final review of the European Commission in the coming months and that the drug, once approved, will also be available in our country by 2024.”
by Irma D’Aria