Implant means patients can go six months without injections

Posted: Thursday 23 July 2020

A study looking at the effectiveness of a small, refillable eye implant has shown that 98% of patients with wet age-related macular degeneration (AMD) were able to go six months between treatments.

Roche has announced positive results from its phase III Archway study, which has been evaluating the effectiveness of the Port Delivery System (PDS). It is the first wet AMD treatment to achieve positive phase III results for this long between treatments.

The PDS is slightly longer than a grain of rice and is surgically implanted in the eye. It is uniquely designed to continuously deliver a specialised formulation of Lucentis (the anti-VEGF medicine used to treat wet AMD) over time and be repeatedly refillable.

As well as reducing the number of treatments from as many as 12 per year to two per year for patients with wet AMD, the results show patients achieved similar vision outcomes to receiving monthly Lucentis injections.

Levi Garraway, Roche’s chief medical officer and head of global product development, said: “For over a decade, we have been working to develop new treatments that better address the unmet needs of people living with neovascular AMD,”

“Based on these data, we believe that the continuous delivery mechanism enabled by PDS may offer effective, reliable results while also alleviating the treatment burden. We are excited to share the data with regulatory authorities with the aim of bringing this new treatment option to patients as soon as possible.”

Geraldine Hoad, research manager at the Macular Society, said: "This is really promising research and something we've been following with interest over the last few years. We know monthly trips to the hospital for eye injections can be a huge burden, not just for patients but also for their families. The potential that a PDS system could reduce these monthly trips to six monthly visits, could be life-changing for so many people.”

PDS is also being studied in another phase III trial for the treatment of diabetic macular oedema.