Ranibizumab for age-related macular degeneration
INTRODUCTION: Age-related macular degeneration (AMD) is the leading cause of blindness in patients over 50 years in the developed world. The wet form of AMD is responsible for the majority of severe vision loss. VEGF-A is a key component in the development of wet AMD. Ranibizumab is an anti-VEGF agent that has established itself as the gold standard in the treatment of neovascular AMD. Herein, we review the pharmacology, pharmacokinetics, efficacy and safety of ranibizumab. AREAS COVERED: Since its approval in 2006, ranibizumab has revolutionized the treatment of wet AMD. In two pivotal Phase III trials, MARINA and ANCHOR, ranibizumab (0.5 mg) prevented moderate visual loss in 90 and 96% of patients, respectively, and improved vision by 15 letters or more in 33 and 40% of patients, respectively. Fixed monthly dosing regimens were compared with quarterly dosing regimens in PIER and EXCITE studies and support the superiority of fixed monthly dosing. The CATT trial revealed that bevacizumab was not inferior to ranibizumab when dosed monthly. As-needed treatment regimens of ranibizumab were also found to be non-inferior to monthly ranibizumab after 1 year of follow-up. EXPERT OPINION: Ranibizumab has positively altered the treatment of wet AMD and offers hope for millions of patients.
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