October 15, 2019
1 min read

Faricimab demonstrates durable Ang-2, VEGF suppression

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SAN FRANCISCO — Faricimab demonstrated sustained inhibition of both angiopoietin-2 and VEGF-A in patients with neovascular age-related macular degeneration, according to a presentation at Retina Subspecialty Day at the American Academy of Ophthalmology annual meeting.

“Faricimab is a unique biospecific synthetic antibody designed specifically to neutralize both VEGF-A and Ang-2,” Karl G. Csaky, MD, PhD, said. “In addition, the Fc portion was modified with binding to inflammatory mediators. To date, the molecule has been tested in multiple clinical trials including three phase 2 programs in neovascular AMD and [diabetic macular edema].”

New data from the phase 2 STAIRWAY trial evaluated the potential durability of 6 mg of intravitreal faricimab in patients with neovascular AMD. After patients received four monthly injections of faricimab, the time between injections was extended to either 12- or 16-week intervals. All participants were assessed at week 12 before advancing to the 16-week interval to verify that disease activity was adequately suppressed, according to Csaky.

At the first 12-week interval, 65% of all patients who received faricimab had low disease activity. Visual acuity gains with faricimab were comparable to monthly injections of ranibizumab in patients in both the 12- and 16-week groups.

While about 4 times more faricimab was injected than ranibizumab, the individual clearance of faricimab was slower than for ranibizumab, and VEGF suppression was sustained, according to Csaky.

“Faricimab demonstrated a potential for extended durability in the STAIRWAY phase 2 clinical trial for neovascular AMD,” Csaky said.

Potential drivers of this durability include prolonged residence of faricimab in the eye, sustained inhibition of both Ang-2 and VEGF-A, “and, interestingly, the possibility of vessel-stabilizing effects from simultaneous inhibition of Ang-2 and VEGF-A,” Csaky said. “However, the ultimate benefit of faricimab in neovascular AMD is being determined through two ongoing global phase 3 trials.” – by Alaina Tedesco

Reference: Csaky KG. Data supporting the sustained efficacy of faricimab, a bispecific antibody neutralizing both angiopoietin-2 and VEGF-A. Presented at: American Academy of Ophthalmology annual meeting; Oct. 11-15, 2019; San Francisco.

Disclosure: Csaky reports he is a consultant for Roche/Genentech.