Roche recently announced that the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved Susvimo (ranibizumab injection) 100 mg/mL for intravitreal use via ocular implant for the treatment of people with neovascular or “wet” age-related macular degeneration (nAMD) who have previously responded to at least two anti-vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) injections. Neovascular AMD is a potentially blinding condition that requires treatment with eye injections as often as once a month, Roche informed via a statement.
Susvimo, previously called Port Delivery System with ranibizumab, is the first and only FDA-approved treatment for nAMD that offers as few as two treatments per year, it further said.
Speaking further in this regard, Carl Regillo, MD, Chief, Retina Service, Wills Eye Hospital, Philadelphia and an archway study investigator, said, “Susvimo represents a major advancement in the treatment of retinal disease and is an important new option for patients with wet AMD. With Susvimo, my patients now have an option that can help them maintain their vision as well as anti-VEGF injections, but on a more manageable twice-yearly treatment schedule.”
Susvimo delivers ranibizumab continuously, offering people living with nAMD an alternative to anti-VEGF eye injections needed as often as once a month. The implant is surgically inserted into the eye during a one-time, outpatient procedure and refilled every six months. If necessary, supplemental ranibizumab treatment can be given to the affected eye while the Susvimo implant is in place, the statement also said.
“We believe that Susvimo can help people with nAMD preserve their vision while potentially alleviating the treatment burden associated with current standards of care,” said Levi Garraway, MD, PhD, Chief Medical Officer and Head, Global Product Development, Roche.
He added, “Susvimo’s approval builds on Roche’s long-standing commitment to people living with vision-threatening conditions.”
According to the statement, the approval is based on positive results from the phase-III Archway study primary analysis, which showed nAMD patients treated with Susvimo achieved and maintained vision gains equivalent to monthly ranibizumab injections – +0.2 and +0.5 eye chart letters from baseline, respectively – at weeks 36 and 40 of treatment. In addition, only 1.6 per cent of Susvimo patients received supplemental ranibizumab treatment before their first refill, and more than 98 per cent could go six months before their first refill.
It further said that in the Archway study, Susvimo was generally well-tolerated, with a favourable benefit-risk profile. However, the Susvimo implant has been associated with a three-fold higher rate of endophthalmitis than monthly intravitreal injections of ranibizumab. Many of these events were associated with conjunctival retractions or erosions. Appropriate conjunctiva management and early detection with surgical repair of conjunctival retractions or erosions may reduce the risk of endophthalmitis. In clinical trials, two per cent of patients receiving a ranibizumab implant experienced at least one episode of endophthalmitis. The most common adverse events (AEs) were conjunctival haemorrhage, conjunctival hyperaemia, iritis and eye pain. The safety profile of Susvimo in the clinical trial setting is well understood and will continue to be monitored closely.
Susvimo will be available in the United States in the coming months, mentioned the statement.
Roche’s late-stage ophthalmology portfolio also includes faricimab, a bi-specific antibody under FDA and EMA review for the treatment of nAMD and DME. The FDA is additionally reviewing faricimab for the treatment of diabetic retinopathy.