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Phase IIb study of combination therapy using anti-PDGF (Fovista) with ranibizumab suggests benefit over ranibizumab alone

Positive phase IIb clinical trial data has supported the continuing development of a new wet AMD treatment (“Fovista”) targeting platelet-derived growth factor B (PDGFB). A press release from the drug’s sponsor, Ophthotech Corproration (Princeton, New Jersey), reported that once-monthly intravitreal Fovista plus ranibizumab (Lucentis) met the primary endpoint of improving mean visual acuity from baseline to week 24 vs. Lucentis alone. Visual acuity, measured by ETDRS, showed that patients in the Fovista arm gained 10.6 letters compared to 6.5 letters with Lucentis alone (p=0.019). The prospective, randomized, controlled clinical trial of 449 patients had no significant safety issues and the company now plans to start Phase III testing of Fovista, but did not disclose details.