Repackaged Bevacizumab from Compounding Pharmacies
For many years, anti-VEGF therapy has been the standard of care for many ophthalmic diseases, including wet AMD, DME and BRVO. However, although multiple branded drugs have been approved for these indications (e.g., LUCENTIS®, EYLEA® and BEOVU ®), they are very expensive. Doctors who wish to treat their retinal patients with a less expensive anti-VEGF drug often use bevacizumab. But because there is no FDA-approved ophthalmic formulation of bevacizumab, doctors must use repackaged IV bevacizumab (Avastin®) provided by compounding pharmacists.
The repackaged intravenous (IV) bevacizumab for ophthalmic use that is provided by compounding pharmacies can carry known risks of contamination (including silicone oil droplet contamination from syringes) and inconsistent potency, with potentially severe consequences, as leading retinal societies have reported. For these reasons, the retina community and payors have shown interest in the development of an ophthalmic formulation of bevacizumab that could be an on-label alternative to repackaged intravenous (IV) bevacizumab from compounding pharmacists.
To meet this retinal market need, Outlook Therapeutics is developing ONS-5010 / LYTENAVA™ (bevacizumab-vikg) as an investigational ophthalmic formulation of bevacizumab. If approved, it will provide an FDA-approved and European Agency-approved, viable treatment option across the spectrum of anti-VEGF ophthalmic drugs that treat wet AMD, DME and BRVO. Additionally, if approved, it would avoid the potential safety, sterility, potency, availability and syringe drawbacks that can occur with repackaged intravenous (IV) bevacizumab from compounding pharmacies.
If approved, ONS-5010 will provide an on-label, responsibly priced anti-VEGF therapy that is already accepted and well established with retinal specialists.
Bevacizumab is a full-length, humanized anti-VEGF (Vascular Endothelial Growth Factor) recombinant monoclonal antibody (or mAb) that inhibits VEGF and associated angiogenic activity. With wet AMD, abnormally high levels of VEGF are secreted in the eye. VEGF is a protein that promotes the growth of new abnormal blood vessels. Anti-VEGF injection therapy blocks this growth. Since the advent of anti-VEGF therapy, it has become the standard of care treatment option within the retina community globally (National Eye Institute).