Opthea Limited (ASX:OPT), a clinical stage biopharmaceutical company developing novel biologic therapies to treat eye diseases, announced today that the final patient in the Company’s Phase 2b trial of OPT-302 for wet age-related macular degeneration (AMD) has completed their last clinical visit.
“The final patient’s last visit is an important milestone in the clinical development pathway for OPT302, as it paves the way for the company to finalise data cleaning activities, with top-line results expected to be reported within the coming months” commented Dr Megan Baldwin, CEO & Managing Director, Opthea Limited.
Patients enrolled in Opthea’s double-masked Phase 2b trial received intravitreal injections of OPT302, a selective VEGF-C/D ‘trap’ therapy, administered in combination with the VEGF-A inhibitor ranibizumab (Lucentis®) or ranibizumab alone, on a monthly basis for 6 months. The final clinical visit was scheduled at week 24, one month after the final dose administration.
Of the 366 patients randomised in the trial, 348 (95.1%) patients completed the week 24 visit, therefore meeting the prospectively defined statistical assumptions for the study.
Opthea’s Phase 2b trial enrolled patients who have not received prior therapy (i.e. treatment-naïve) and is designed to investigate whether addition of OPT-302 to ranibizumab therapy over a 6 month dosing period improves visual acuity and anatomical parameters including reductions in retinal thickness, as assessed by a central independent imaging reading centre.
“This milestone brings us closer to assessing the potential of OPT-302 combination treatment to improve vision and ocular anatomical outcomes in wet AMD patients receiving standard of care anti-VEGF-A monotherapy,” continued Dr Baldwin. “We are very pleased with the trial’s progress, which completed patient recruitment several months ahead of schedule, and has continued to demonstrate a favourable safety profile for OPT-302. We now look forward to reporting outcomes from the Phase 2b trial given encouraging previously reported Phase 1/2a study data as well as the scientific rationale for targeted inhibition of VEGF-C/D, two important regulators of aberrant retinal vessel growth and vascular leakage, which are implicated in mediating resistance to selective VEGF-A inhibitors.”
Additional information on Opthea’s technology and clinical trials in wet AMD and diabetic macular edema (DME) can found at www.opthea.com and ClinicalTrials.gov (ID#: NCT03345082 and ID#: NCT03397264, respectively).
OPT-302 is a soluble form of vascular endothelial growth factor receptor 3 (VEGFR-3) or ‘Trap’ molecule that blocks the activity of two proteins (VEGF-C and VEGF-D) that cause blood vessels to grow and leak, processes which contribute to the pathophysiology of retinal diseases. Opthea is developing OPT-302 for use in combination with inhibitors of VEGF-A (eg. Lucentis®/EYLEA®). Combination therapy of OPT-302 and a VEGF-A inhibitor achieves more complete blockade of members of the VEGF family, blocks mechanisms contributing to sub-optimal response to selective VEGF-A inhibitors and has the potential to improve vision outcomes by more completely inhibiting the pathways involved in disease progression.
Opthea has completed a Phase 1/2a clinical trial in the US investigating OPT-302 wet AMD patients as a monotherapy and in combination with Lucentis®, and a 9 patient dose-escalation study of OPT-302 in combination with EYLEA® in patients with persistent central-involved diabetic macular edema (DME) despite prior anti-VEGF-A therapy. Further details on the Phase 1/2a trial can be found at: www.clinicaltrials.gov, Clinical trial identifier: NCT02543229. Details on the outcomes of the studies can be found on the Opthea website: www.opthea.com
About Wet AMD
Wet (neovascular) age-related macular degeneration, or wet AMD, is a disease characterised by the loss of vision of the middle of the visual field caused by degeneration of the central portion of the retina (the macula). Abnormal growth of blood vessels below the retina, and the leakage of fluid and protein from the vessels, causes retinal degeneration and leads to severe and rapid loss of vision.
Wet AMD is the leading cause of blindness in the developed world in individuals aged over 50 years and its prevalence is increasing. Without treatment, wet AMD patients often experience a chronic, rapid decline in visual acuity and increase in retinal fluid. Standard of care treatments for wet AMD include the VEGF-A inhibitors Lucentis® (Roche/Novartis) and EYLEA® (Regeneron/Bayer), which do not inhibit VEGF-C or VEGF-D. Sales of Lucentis® and Eylea were over $US3.7BN and $US6.2BN in 2018 respectively. Approximately half of the people receiving Lucentis®/EYLEA® do not experience a significant gain in vision and/or have persistent retinal vascular leakage despite regular IVT injections. Simultaneous inhibition of VEGF-A and VEGF-C/-D, by combined administration of OPT-302 with a VEGF-A inhibitor has the potential to improve patient responses, including visual acuity, by more effective inhibition of the pathways involved in disease progression.