Clinical trials of three drugs have given Regeneron Pharmaceuticals Inc (NASDAQ:REGN)’s Eylea an upper hand in the treatment diabetic macular edema (DME) against Genentech’s Avastin and Lucentis. However, all the three have commendable effectiveness but Eylea is a notch higher in managing DME patients with moderate visual acuity of 20/50 or worse.
The rigorous trial which enrolled 660 people with DME was carried out by the Diabetic Retinopathy Clinical Research Network. Stage by stage analysis indicates that the participants were subjected to laser treatment after the first six months which did not reflect any improvements of the DME condition. Nevertheless, there were changes in those who had 20/40 or better vision to visual acuity of 20/25.
But Eylea out did Avastin in participants with 20/50 or worse vision and it also outperformed Lucentis. Apparently, there were lesser people of those who had received laser treatment within the Eylea group which had a 41% compared to the Avastin and the Lucentis groups which had 64% and 52% respectively.
The results tend to suggest that there is a benefit of choosing Eylea or Lucentis over Avastin when a patient’s loss of visual acuity from macular edema is insignificant. And by the way, participants in the Lucentis group had a higher risk of heart attack, stroke, or death from a cardiovascular condition.
According to John A. Wells, M.D., the lead author of the study, the findings of the DRCR Network’s comparison of Eylea, Avastin, and Lucentis will give doctors effective milestones in the way they handle their patients suffering from diabetic macular edema.
The three drugs are in common use in the treatment of DME. Nevertheless, according to National Eye Institute Director Paul A. Sieving, M.D., Ph.D, eye care provides have embraced them citing that they will be a guidance into giving their patients the best therapy.
The study was very vital to establish the competences of the three drugs. It is probably the reason why it received funding from the National Institutes of Health alongside the cooperation of two other competing companies. National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases were also part of funding the study.