Roche's eye implant retains efficacy, schedule out to 2 years

Roche is building the case for its vision loss implant Susvimo. The latest update shows 95% of patients on Susvimo maintained a six-month treatment schedule after two years, giving Roche another data point to use as it seeks to gain a slice of the wet age-related macular degeneration (AMD) market.

The FDA approved Susvimo late last year. Susvimo offers a very different option for wet AMD patients. Rather than receive injections of Regeneron and Bayer’s Eylea six to 12 times a year, or even injections of Roche’s own Vabysmo three to 12 times a year, patients can undergo surgery to get Susvimo implanted and then get it refilled with ranibizumab, a drug sold as Lucentis, twice a year. 

It is too early to tell if the offer will resonate with patients and physicians, but Roche now has evidence to support its pitch. The latest results come from the Archway study that compared Susvimo to Lucentis injections in 418 wet AMD patients.

Roche found 95% of Susvimo patients went six months without additional treatment in the second, third and fourth refill-exchange intervals, indicating that the dosing schedule works out to at least two years. After two years of treatment, patients on Susvimo averaged -1.1 eye chart letters in visual acuity from baseline, compared to a 0.5-letter decline in the Lucentis cohort.

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The data drop is part of a series of events Roche has lined up to support the use of Susvimo. Studies are underway to test long-term safety and efficacy, evaluate the effect in diabetic macular edema and assess a nine-month refill schedule in wet AMD. 

Roche presented Susvimo data alongside results from studies of Vabysmo. The drug, like the incumbent Eylea, is injected into the eye. Yet, it still has a potential delivery advantage over other injectable drugs as it offers the possibility of a less-frequent dosing schedule.