Roche Canada has successfully concluded talks with the pan-Canadian Pharmaceutical Alliance (pCPA) for Vabysmo (faricimab injection).

Vabysmo is administered into the eye to treat patients with neovascular (wet) age-related macular degeneration (AMD) and diabetic macular oedema (DME).

Canada’s health technology assessment bodies, including the Canadian agency for drugs and technologies in health (CADTH) and the institut national d’excellence en santé et en services sociaux (INESSS) have both reviewed Vabysmo and recommended it to treat nAMD and DME.

Roche Canada will also work with additional provincial jurisdictions to quickly include Vabysmo in public drug plans.

Fighting Blindness Canada research and mission programmes director Larissa Moniz stated: “Securing a letter of intent with the pCPA for Vabysmo is incredible news for patients and the vision loss community.

“We encourage the provinces to recognise the benefit that Vabysmo can bring to nAMD and DME patients and to prioritise public access for eligible Canadians.”

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Vabysmo is a humanised bispecific immunoglobulin G1(IgG1) antibody which inhibits both vascular endothelial growth factor A (VEGF-A) and angiopoietin-2 (Ang-2).

VEGF-A and Ang-2 are responsible for vascular instability and are linked to vision-threatening retinal conditions.

Faricimab restricts neovascularisation, vascular permeability and endothelial cell proliferation by inhibiting VEGF-A.

The inhibition of Ang-2 is expected to enhance vascular stability and make blood vessels less sensitive to the effects of VEGF-A.

McMaster University Hamilton Regional Eye Institute ophthalmology chief and surgery professor Dr Varun Chaudhary stated: “This milestone is a critical step towards providing access to Vabysmo for Canadians living with vision loss from nAMD and DME.

“Vabysmo has demonstrated promising results in terms of efficacy, safety and durability of effect for both these diseases, and expedited public access for Canadians in need of this treatment is of paramount importance.”