Similarity of Anti-VEGF Drugs Confirmed For DME Treatment

A rigorous clinical trial has found that individuals with diabetic macular edema (DME), whose visual acuity is 20/50 or worse, gained more improvement with Eylea than with Avastin. Aside from that, no significant difference was found among the three anti-VEGF drugs (including Lucentis) in subjects with 20/32 or 20/40 vision at the start of treatment. By two years, 41 percent of participants in the Eylea group received laser treatment to treat their macular edema, compared with 64 percent of participants in the Avastin group and 52 percent in the Lucentis group.
“This . . . confirms that Eylea, Avastin, and Lucentis are all effective treatments for diabetic macular edema,” said NEI Director Paul A. Sieving, M.D., Ph.D. “Eye care providers and patients can have confidence in all three drugs.”
John A. Wells, M.D., lead author of the study, said the results showed “little advantage of choosing Eylea or Lucentis over Avastin when a patient’s loss of visual acuity from macular edema is mild.”
The clinical trial was conducted by the Diabetic Retinopathy Clinical Research Network, with funding from the National Eye Institute.
Wells JA et al. for the Diabetic Retinopathy Clinical Research Network. “Aflibercept, Bevacizumab, or Ranibizumab for Diabetic Macular Edema: Two-year Results from a Comparative Effectiveness Randomized Clinical Trial.” Ophthalmology, February 27, 2016.
National Eye Institute press release.