Novartis Vision Drug Shows Positive Results in Phase 3 Trials

By Euan Conley Features Dow Jones Newswires

Novartis AG (NOVN.EB) said on Friday that the results of two phase 3 trials of brolucizumab, a treatment for neovascular age-related macular degeneration, or nAMD, led to "significantly fewer" patients showing signs of disease activity and retinal fluid.

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The Swiss pharmaceuticals company said that brolucizumab had met the primary endpoint of non-inferiority against Regeneron Pharmaceuticals (REGN) aflibercept drug. Results from the trials had also shown superior reductions in retinal thickness owing to fluid accumulation compared to aflibercept, Novartis added.

"The absence of fluid for patients in the brolucizumab arm suggests the potential for a long-lasting effect and decreased treatment need," Novartis said.

nAMD is a condition that causes rapid deterioration in central vision. Drug therapies for nAMD usually require frequent injections into the eye. The pharmaceuticals company described brolucizumab as the first and only anti-vascular edothelial growth treatment to show visual gains with a majority of patients with less frequent 12-week treatment intervals after the loading phase in randomized clinical trials.

Novartis said Monday that it expects to file for the nAMD indication by the fourth quarter of 2018.

According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, nAMD is the leading cause of vision loss and blindness for Americans aged 65 and older.

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Write to Euan Conley at euan.conley@dowjones.com

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

November 13, 2017 04:20 ET (09:20 GMT)