News

Avastin less safe than Lucentis as AMD therapy
Enlarge image

BusinessSwitzerland

Avastin less safe than Lucentis as AMD therapy

02.05.2012 - Results from a NIH study confirm that treating wet AMD with unlicensed Avastin (bevacizumab) leads to more adverse effects than Novartis’ Lucentis.

Basel - Novartis AG has highlighted results from a head-to-head study comparing safety and efficacy of the VEGF antibody fragment Lucentis (ranibizumab) with the full VEGF antibody Avastin (bevazizumab) in wet AMD therapy. According to the NIH-funded CATT study (Comparison of Age-related macular degeneration Treatment Trials), Lucentis showed superior safety when compared to Avastin, which has been not approved as treatment for wet AMD but has been broadly used off label by ophtalmologists due primarily to a 50fold lower price.

According to Novartis, which has licensed marketing rights from Roche for Lucentis, two year data from 1107 patients confirm 30% higher risk of serious systemic adverse events with unlicensed bevacizumab versus Lucentis. Additionally, the Swiss pharma major pointed to reports of arteriothrombotic events, systemic haemorrhage, congestive heart failure, venous thrombotic events, hypertension and vascular death, which were more frequent in bevacizumab treated patients. These events have been previously associated with systemic anti-VEGF treatment.

"The apparent differential safety risk between the two medicines may be due to differences in the molecules and their commercial formulation“, said Tim Wright, Global Head of Development, Novartis Pharma. Previously published retrospective Medicare analyses compared the safety of unlicensed ocular bevacizumab and Lucentis for treating wet AMD. The primary analysis from the Curtis study showed that unlicensed bevacizumab and Lucentis were not associated with increased risks of death, heart attack, bleeding or stroke compared with photodynamic therapy or pegaptanib. A secondary analysis in the Curtis et al study, which included approximately 40,000 patients, showed a significantly higher risk of mortality (16%) and stroke (28%) with unlicensed intravitreal bevacizumab than with Lucentis. Gower et al. assessed 77,886 Medicare beneficiaries with wet AMD over 10 months. In this study patients treated with unlicensed intravitreal bevacizumab experienced an 11% significantly increased risk of death and a 57% significantly increased risk of haemorrhagic stroke compared to patients treated with Lucentis. The risk of ocular inflammation was 80% higher with unlicensed intravitreal bevacizumab than with Lucentis.

BusinessSwitzerlandUK

23.04.2014 In an effort to focus on key businesses, pharma giant Novartis is joining forces with long-time rival GlaxoSmithKline in a multi-billion Euro asset exchange and an OTC joint venture.

FinanceSwedenFrance

18.04.2014 Oxthera AB, a Swedish biopharma company with a focus on rare diseases, has gained a SEK70m cash injection to continue its clinical programme for primary hyperoxaluria.

FundingEU

17.04.2014 The European Parliament has given green light to the second Innovative Medicines Initiative with the aim to advance pharmacological research and development, particularly in areas of unmet medical need.

BusinessGermanyFrance

15.04.2014 German flavour and scent specialist Symrise has announced its plans to acquire French pet-food ingredients maker Diana Group for €1.3bn.

BioeconomySpain

14.04.2014 Spanish Neol Biosolutions and the Center for Second Generation Biofuels are starting a partnership to scale-up Neol's waste-to-oil technology.

EvidenceUKSwitzerland

11.04.2014 There is no evidence that neuraminidase inhibitors Tamiflu and Relenza prevent complications of influenza or reduce hospital admissions. In addition, it is unclear whether they can stop the spread of influenza in case of outbreaks, says a report by the Cochrane Collaboration.

BusinessSwitzerlandSpain

09.04.2014 Roche is extending its involvement in the area of point-of-care diagnostics by taking over US company Iquum. In the field of epigenetics, the Swiss pharma company has started a cooperation with the Spanish company Oryzon.

Status ReportSwitzerland

08.04.2014 The Swiss Biotech Report 2014 presented in Zurich sees an encouraging upturn in the country's biotech scene. However, the acceptance of the mass immigration initiative poses a significant threat.

NanobiotechnologyItaly

07.04.2014 Scientists from the University of Udine have designed, produced and tested a prototype for a "DNA origami" nanorobot that can potentially deliver biological activators in-vivo.

EpidemicEUFranceGermanyItaly

02.04.2014 As the Ebola epidemic in Guinea worsens, Europe is deploying the specialists of EMLab to provide diagnostics at the focus of the outbreak.

Events

All Events

Partner-Events

München

BioVaria 2014

Frankfurt am Main

7th DVFA Life Science Conference

Current issue

All issues

Product of the week

Products

Stock list

All quotes

TOP

  • GW PHARMACEUTICALS (UK)305.50 GBP39.3%
  • NEWRON (CH)15.60 CHF20.0%
  • TOPOTARGET (DK)3.52 DKK16.9%

FLOP

  • XENETIC BIOSCIENCES (UK)6.00 GBP-14.3%
  • WILEX (D)0.84 EUR-8.7%
  • GENFIT (F)22.42 EUR-8.1%

TOP

  • BIOTECH PHARMACON (N)18.80 NOK70.9%
  • WILEX (D)0.84 EUR47.4%
  • E-THERAPEUTICS (UK)27.75 GBP38.8%

FLOP

  • CYTOS (CH)0.17 CHF-93.8%
  • BIONOR PHARMA (N)2.11 NOK-47.1%
  • IMMUNICUM AB (S)16.60 SEK-38.1%

TOP

  • SILENCE THERAPEUTICS (UK)261.00 GBP6265.9%
  • IXICO (UK)68.00 GBP750.0%
  • PHARMING (NL)0.50 EUR733.3%

FLOP

  • CYTOS (CH)0.17 CHF-96.0%
  • EVOCUTIS (UK)0.22 GBP-92.3%
  • AGENNIX (D)0.04 EUR-80.0%

No liability assumed, Date: 22.04.2014