EXTON, Pa., July 10, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- BioTrends Research Group, one of the world's leading research and advisory firms for specialized biopharmaceutical issues, finds that the majority of wet age-related macular degeneration (AMD) patients are administered their first intravitreal anti-vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) agent within the same month of initial wet AMD diagnosis. Roche/Genentech's Avastin has captured nearly half of first-line allocation, making Avastin the most likely therapy choice despite not being approved for wet AMD. The ChartTrends: Wet AMD (US) report finds that, after approximately 18 months on the market, Regeneron's Eylea owns one-fifth of first-line intravitreal pharmacotherapy (IVT) share among wet AMD patients, lagging only slightly behind that of Roche/Genentech's Lucentis (27 percent), which has been commercially available in the United States since 2006. A comparison of actual patient-level data and self-reported perceptions from more than 140 surveyed retinal specialists and general ophthalmologists suggests that, while physicians correctly perceive the presence of retinal and subretinal fluid as a major driver of treatment initiation, they underestimate the role of a loss in visual acuity in their decision to start patients on treatment.
The report—an audit of more than 700 patient charts—also finds that, when the need for convenient dosing frequency is a driver for current brand choice, physicians are more likely to treat patients with Eylea than Avastin or Lucentis, in line with Eylea's label for extended dosing frequency and lack of monthly monitoring.
"However, even as physicians rate current Eylea-treated patients as being significantly more compliant than current Avastin-treated patients, the number of office visits patients have attended or missed in the past year did not differ between Avastin, Eylea or Lucentis," said BioTrends Research Group, Senior Business Insights Analyst Emma Williams, Ph.D. "In addition, no differences were observed between the dosing frequency of the anti-VEGF agents in this patient-level audit."
When presented with profiles of products in development for wet AMD and asked to hypothetically choose one product to switch the audit patient to, Allergan's AGN-150998 (anti-VEGF DARPin) and Ophthotech's Fovista are most frequently chosen, owing to their alternative mechanisms of action, AGN-150998's more convenient administration, and the anticipated synergistic effect of Fovista when administered as adjunctive therapy with an anti-VEGF agent. While no difference exists between candidates and noncandidates in terms of their current anti-VEGF therapy, AGN-150998 candidates are significantly more likely to have been started on their current IVT due to expectations of efficacy in slowing vision loss or efficacy in restoring vision, suggesting that surveyed physicians are optimistic that AGN-150998 may provide a superior effect on vision compared to currently available products.
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SOURCE BioTrends Research Group