Dr. Derek Kunimoto: Evaluation of Abicipar Pegol (an Anti-VEGF DARPin Therapeutic) in Patients With Neovascular Age-Related Macular Degeneration: Studies in Japan and the United States

Derek Kunimoto, MD, JD; Masahito Ohji, MD; Raj K. Maturi, MD; Tetsuju Sekiryu, MD; Ying Wang, MD, PhD; Grace Pan, MS; Xiao-Yan Li, MD; Susan Schneider, MD; for the BAMBOO and CYPRESS Study Groups 

BACKGROUND AND OBJECTIVE: To evaluate comparability of abicipar pegol (abicipar) effects in patients with treatment-naïve neovascular age-related macular degeneration (nAMD) in Japan and the United States. 

PATIENTS AND METHODS: Phase 2, multicenter, randomized, double-masked, 20-week studies (BAMBOO, Japan; CYPRESS, United States). Patients (n = 25 each study) received three monthly intravitreal injections of abicipar 1 mg or 2 mg or five monthly intravitreal injections of ranibizumab 0.5 mg. 

RESULTS: Mean best-corrected visual acuity change from baseline at week 16 (primary endpoint) for abicipar 1 mg, abicipar 2 mg, and ranibizumab was +7.8 letters, +8.9 letters, and +17.4 letters (BAMBOO); +4.4 letters, +10.1 letters, and +15.2 letters (CYPRESS). Mean central retinal thickness change from baseline was −187.3 μm, −196.5 μm, and −230.4 μm (BAMBOO); −106.5 μm, −112.8 μm, and −124.4 μm (CYPRESS). Uveitis or vitritis was reported in three abicipar-treated patients. 

CONCLUSION: Abicipar demonstrated extended duration of effect and safety that were comparable between Japanese and non-Japanese patients with nAMD. Abicipar effectively treated Japanese patients with polypoidal choroidal vasculopathy. 

[Ophthalmic Surg Lasers Imaging Retina. 2019;50:e10-e22.]