The FDA recently approved another intravitreal injection for the treatment of wet-ARMD. Beovu (brolucizumab) is an anti-VEGF medication which may be useful for extending the frequency of injections in patients requiring multiple treatments.
The FDA found that Beovu may be useful in the treatment wet macular degeneration and offers an extended 3 month dosing schedule.
Other anti-VEGF medications for the treatment of wet macular degeneration include:
Wet macular Degneration
There are two forms of macular degeneration: wet and dry. The dry form accounts for about 90% of patients with macular degeneration. Symtoms of distortion, blind spots and blurry vision are less so than the “wet” counterpart.
Wet macular degeneration accounts for the other 10% of ARMD patients. Wet macular degeneration is more aggressive and causes more pronounced and quicker loss of vision.
Wet macular degeneration occurs with the development of abnormal blood vessels growing within the layers of the retina. The abnormal blood vessels, aka neovascularization, are stimulated by a protein called Vascular Endothelial Growth Factor (VEGF).
anti-VEGF medications, like Beovu, work by neutralizing the VEGF protein making it ineffective. As a result, the neovascularization regresses and can not be stimulated to grow.
Timing of Injections
All the anti-VEGF medications work in similar fashion and share similar results. In addition, the dosing schedule of all the anti-VEGF injections usually ranges between every 4-6 week dosing (a shot every 4-6 weeks).
Beovu was compared to Eylea to gain FDA approval. Beovu may have the advantage of achieving similar results (non-inferior) to Eylea, but may be given once every 3 months compared to monthly injections.
FDA approval usually only gives the retina specialist guidance or suggestions on a drug’s use. Though dosing is approved for every 3 months, it does not necessarily mean that a retina specialist will find this necessarily true in practice.
Most retina specialists will slowly try the new drug and determine for ourselves which type of patients will derive the most benefit in terms of treatment efficacy and dosing.
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