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New bispecific monoclonal antibody to treat vision loss in India

IANS Mar 06, 2024

Roche Pharma on 5 March announced its foray into the ophthalmology sector in India with a new bispecific monoclonal antibody (mAB) to treat vision loss.

Vabysmo (faricimab) may help in the treatment of neovascular or “wet” age-related macular degeneration (nAMD) and diabetic macular oedema (DME) -- the two leading causes of vision loss worldwide, said the company in a statement.

The world’s first bispecific mAB works by neutralising two key proteins -- angiopoietin-2 (Ang-2) and vascular endothelial growth factor-A (VEGF-A) -- known for the onset and progression of retinal conditions.

The proteins destabilise blood vessels in the eye, leading to inflammation and vision loss. Vabysmo may help block both pathways involving Ang-2 and VEGF-A and stabilise blood vessels.

"We believe more should be done to meet the needs of people living with retinal conditions and to preserve sight. While there is strong awareness and action for cataracts and other frontal eye disorders, retinal conditions are often diagnosed late or neglected, leading to vision loss,” said CEO and Managing Director, of Roche Pharma India.

“The launch of Vabysmo marks our entry into the ophthalmology space in India, underscoring our commitment to bring the best-in-class innovations to the country. With fewer eye injections over time, while also improving and maintaining vision and anatomy, Vabysmo offers a more convenient and effective treatment schedule for patients, their caregivers and healthcare systems,” he added.

Currently, available treatment options for nAMD and DME require frequent eye injections (typically every one to two months). With Vabysmo patients require eye injections at intervals of up to once in four months.

Vabysmo was first approved by the USFDA in January 2022 and is currently available in more than 90 countries.

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