New drug could mean less frequent injections

Patient in clinic being prepped for an injection

Results from a recent clinical trial suggest that a possible new treatment for wet age-related macular degeneration (AMD) could control symptoms as effectively as current treatments, with less frequent injections.

The late-stage trials have revealed the drug, named brolucizumab, is just as effective at treating wet AMD as Eylea. 

If approved, brolucizumab would go up against Eylea and Lucentis, two treatments for AMD. The drugs are all injected into the eye. Novartis' drug would be given once every three months, while Eylea is injected once every eight weeks. 

Vas Narasimhan, the current global head of drug development and chief medical officer, said the most exciting results from the trial were the reduction in retinal thickness and retinal fluid. In comparison to the patients who got Eylea, brolucizumab reduced that retinal fluid by more than 30%. 

Novartis has a long history of treating eye conditions. Narasimhan said the development of brolucizumab is part of the "next chapter of innovation at the company" for eye conditions.