Study: ranibizumab results superior over PDT at 12-, 24-month evaluations

November 9, 2007

Visual acuity endpoints in the ANCHOR Study showed that ranibizumab (Lucentis, Genentech) surpassed photodynamic therapy (PDT) with verteporfin, (Visudyne, Novartis Ophthalmics/QLT) for treating predominantly classic choroidal neovascularization lesions in age-related macular degeneration, reported Jeffrey Heier, MD, reported during Retina Subspecialty Day.

Visual acuity endpoints in the ANCHOR Study showed that ranibizumab (Lucentis, Genentech) surpassed photodynamic therapy (PDT) with verteporfin, (Visudyne, Novartis Ophthalmics/QLT) for treating predominantly classic choroidal neovascularization lesions in age-related macular degeneration, reported Jeffrey Heier, MD, during Retina Subspecialty Day.

"Ranibizumab was found to be a remarkably consistent therapy," said Dr. Heier, assistant professor ophthalmology, Tufts University School of Medicine, and clinical instructor in ophthalmology, Harvard Medical School, Boston.

Analysis of subgroups in the 2-year ANCHOR Study indicated that the treatment effects of ranibizumab were consistent with all of the primary findings of the drug. Regarding age, the visual acuity results were consistent across all age groups, with the patients treated with PDT more likely to lose three or more lines of visual acuity.

"A gain of about three lines or more of vision was very likely in most age groups treated with ranibizumab," he said. "This finding was slightly less robust in the oldest patients."

Regarding baseline vision, the patients with better vision who were treated with PDT were more likely to lose three lines of vision, according to Dr. Heier. Patients treated with ranibizumab had very consistent results; the only patients who did not gain three lines or more were those with the highest baseline vision, he said.

Imaging showed small changes with ranibizumab with no enlargement of lesions as seen with PDT therapy. Patients with the smaller lesions were more likely to gain visual acuity after ranibizumab therapy. The mean change in vision after ranibizumab therapy was almost six lines of visual acuity with the smallest lesions, he said.

"At 1 and 2 years, the visual acuity endpoints strongly favored ranibizumab over PDT. The benefits were seen in all subanalyses. At 1 and 2 years the anatomic outcomes favored ranibizumab over PDT and were correlated with the visual acuity outcomes," Dr. Heier concluded.