EXTON, Pa.--(BUSINESS WIRE)-- The impact of the Comparison of AMD Treatments Trials (CATT) study results published at the end of April 2011 is reflected in changes to both current and anticipated prescribing behavior of Genentech’s Avastin and Lucentis for wet age-related macular degeneration (AMD) among retinal specialists and general ophthalmologists. Among the large majority of patients with wet AMD that are treated with intravitreal injections, most are treated with either Avastin or Lucentis with only a small share going to Eyetech’s Macugen or generic triamcinolone. However, the interaction of the CATT study non-inferiority findings and the substantial price difference between the two anti-VEGF agents has resulted in a reported increase in Avastin prescribing with share being pulled from the more expensive Lucentis. Even with a subset of patients with wet AMD resistant to intravitreal injections, few are treated with Novartis / QLT Inc.’s Visudyne, which is administered for use in photodynamic therapy (PDT), or undergo laser photocoagulation or epi-retnal / epi-macular radiation therapy. While respondents anticipate their overall approach to the treatment of wet AMD to remain relatively consistent over the next six months, they do anticipate significant changes in their prescribing of specific intravitreal agents to continue, especially with the anticipated approval of Regeneron’s Eylea (aflibercept; VEGF Trap-Eye) in November 2011.
While unaided awareness of products in development for the treatment of AMD is low, almost all respondents who are aware of a product in development recall Eylea. Familiarity and interest in Eylea is significantly higher than that reported for GSK’s pazopanib or Ohr Pharmaceuticals’ EVIZON. Although retinal specialists report being significantly more willing to prescribe Eylea upon commercial availability compared to general ophthalmologists, responses from both specialties suggest that the opportunity for strong uptake exists at launch for Eylea.
In terms of dry AMD, retinal specialists and general ophthalmologists find the lack of effective therapies, including those to prevent progression to geographic atrophy (GA) associated with dry AMD, to be the greatest challenge in the treatment of the disease. Respondents are split on whether the treatment of early dry AMD with Age-Related Eye Disease Study (AREDS) formulation vitamins is effective in preventing conversion to advanced AMD. As a result of the lack of therapeutic evolution for the treatment of dry AMD, respondents convey dissatisfaction with the current treatment options and high levels of interest in the products in development for dry AMD, including ReVision’s fenretinide, Alcon’s tandospirone, Neurotech’s NT 501, and Otsuka / Acucela’s ACU-4429.
TreatmentTrends®: AMD is an annual syndicated report series that provides a comprehensive view of the current and expected future management of AMD, with a focus on wet AMD, based on primary research. The survey was fielded in mid-August 2011 with 99 U.S. ophthalmologists, 74 percent of whom classify themselves as retinal specialists. TreatmentTrends®: AMD covers the use of treatment approaches and pharmacotherapy agents for the treatment of AMD, as well as attitudes and perceptions toward these products, advantages and disadvantages, ideal patient types, barriers to growth, and expected future use. In addition, respondents were queried about their awareness of and interest in products in development for the treatment of dry AMD or wet AMD.
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