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Nov 8, 2013

Eyelea Approved to Treat Wet AMD in Canada

An additional treatment option for people with wet age-related macular degeneration (AMD) will soon be available in Canada. Health Canada has just approved Eyelea, a drug made and marketed by Bayer Inc.

Eyelea (also known as aflibercept) is used to treat the most severe form of AMD known as wet AMD. The drug is given by injection into the eye in an ophthalmologist’s office. However the drug is designed to be used less frequently than existing treatments. After an initial three-month start-up period, during which the drug is given monthly, patients need only receive Eyelea every 8 weeks.

In two large clinical trials, the outcomes for Eyelea given on this schedule were similar to monthly Lucentis. Both drugs prevent vision loss –  and often improve vision – by preventing the growth of tiny abnormal blood vessels under the retina. These blood vessels can leak blood and fluid cause rapid visual impairment.

Eyelea has been available in the United States for more than a year. With this Health Canada approval, Bayer will also begin marketing Eyelea in Canada likely early in 2014. The company is already working with provincial health care plans to get the costs of this new therapy approved as soon as possible.

“The approval of Eyelea in Canada means that patients with wet AMD will have more treatment options to help them to continue to live fulfilling lives,” said Sharon Colle, President & CEO of the Foundation Fighting Blindness. “The potential for less frequent office visits with this new treatment will mean a lot to patients and their families.”

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