The UK National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) has recommended Roche’s new drug, faricimab (Vabysmo), to treat adult patients with wet age-related macular degeneration (AMD) or diabetic macular oedema (DMO).
AMD and DMO are two key causes of sight loss and visual impairment.
According to the final draft guidance published by NICE, faricimab is given as an eye injection for treating wet AMD or DMO.
Clinical data demonstrated that faricimab can enhance vision or lower vision loss and can be given less often than other therapies that are presently available.
In clinical trials, another eye injection drug used for treating AMD and DMO, aflibercept, was given every eight weeks while faricimab allowed for a gap of up to 16 weeks between doses, based on analyses of the disease activity.
With the latest development, up to 300,000 individuals with wet AMD and more than 28,000 DMO patients in England could be eligible for faricimab as part of their therapy.
The final draft guidance from the NICE comes after the UK Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) approved faricimab for people with wet AMD and visual impairment due to DMO.
NICE interim director for medicines evaluation Helen Knight said: “I am delighted that we have been able to recommend this treatment to help tackle two leading causes of vision loss so close to its licence just last week.
“We will continue to work closely with our colleagues in other healthcare organisations to ensure we deliver progressive treatments which balance the best care with value for money, delivering both for individuals and society as a whole.”
Earlier, injections of aflibercept or ranibizumab for wet AMD and DMO, as well as brolucizumab for AMD treatment were recommended by NICE.
A final guidance by NICE is anticipated to be published on 29 June 2022.