Roche launches Vabysmo® (faricimab), the rst and only bispecic monoclonal antibody for the eye, to treat two leading causes of vision loss

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New Delhi, March 05, 2024: Roche Pharma India marked its foray into the Ophthalmology
space by launching Vabysmo® (faricimab) for the treatment of neovascular or “wet”
age-related macular degeneration (nAMD) and diabetic macular edema (DME). Neovascular
AMD and DME are two leading causes of vision loss worldwide.
Vabysmo® is the rst and only dual-pathway-inhibitor that uniquely targets and inhibits two
disease pathways linked to a number of vision threatening retinal conditions. It neutralises
both angiopoietin-2 (Ang-2) and vascular endothelial growth factor-A (VEGF-A) which are key
proteins involved in the development and progression of retinal conditions, contributing to
vision loss by destabilising blood vessels in the eye. 1,2
As the world’s rst bispecic monoclonal antibody, Vabysmo is a single molecule designed to
target and inhibit the effects of two targets, providing the benets of two medicines in one.
Current treatment options target VEGF alone, and therefore only partially address the biology
of the disease. By blocking both pathways involving Ang-2 and VEGF-A, Vabysmo® offers
people the rst new MoA (mechanism of action) in more than 15 years for nAMD and close to a
decade for DME, stabilising blood vessels in the retina and improving vision outcomes. 1,2
Vabysmo® has the potential to transform the existing Standard of Care (SoC) as the burden
associated with currently available treatment options for nAMD and DME such as frequent eye
injections (typically required every one to two months) and physician visits can lead to under
treatment and less-than-optimal vision outcomes. Vabysmo® offers better treatment durability
with patients requiring eye injections at intervals of up to once in four months, while achieving
similar vision gains and anatomical improvements 1,2.
Commenting on the launch, V Simpson Emmanuel, CEO and Managing Director, Roche
Pharma India, said, “We believe more should be done to meet the needs of people living with
retinal conditions and to preserve sight. While there is strong awareness and action for
cataract and other frontal eye-disorders, retinal conditions are often diagnosed late or
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neglected, leading to vision loss. The launch of Vabysmo® marks our entry into the
ophthalmology space in India, underscoring our commitment to bring the best-in-class
innovations to the country. With fewer eye injections over time, while also improving and
maintaining vision and anatomy, Vabysmo® offers a more convenient and effective treatment
schedule for patients, their caregivers and healthcare systems.”
“nAMD and DME can limit a person’s ability to read, drive and recognise faces. Even simple
everyday activities may become challenging as the disease progresses. Vabysmo® offers the
‘Latest’ (world’s rst dual pathway inhibition), ‘Fastest’ (fastest drying & effective disease
control) and ‘Longest’ (extended durability up to 4 months) treatment option to patients,” said
Dr. Viraj Suvarna, Chief Medical Ofcer at Roche Pharma India. 1,2
Dr. Manoj S Khatri, Director at Eydox Eye Hospital, Head at Rajan Eye Care Hospital &
Consultant at Apollo Hospitals, said: “Creating patient-centric innovations in
Ophthalmology become ever so critical owing to the demographic proles and pre-existing
disease conditions of such patients. Patients of nAMD and DME are usually already dealing
with comorbidities such as diabetes or hypertension and may even be above the age of 60. In
such cases, ease and convenience of treatment is of utmost importance. As retinal
specialists, we see innovations like Vabysmo that offer a dosing interval of up to 16 weeks,
having the potential to positively impact treatment adherence leading to better vision
outcomes for patients.”
Preventable and treatable vision loss is a growing global public health concern. A staggering 1
billion people3 live with vision impairment worldwide that could have been prevented. Retinal
conditions are now affecting more people than ever before. More than ~300 million patients
globally4,5 and ~11 million patients in India6 suffer from retinal vision loss. India is home to
one-third of the blind population of the world 7. Furthermore, in India, the prevalence of nAMD
and DME stands at approximately 4 million8,9.
Vabysmo® (faricimab) was rst approved by the USFDA in January 2022. It is today available in
across 90+ countries and more than 2 million doses have been administered till date 11.
About neovascular age-related macular degeneration
Age-related macular degeneration (AMD) is a condition that affects the part of the eye that provides sharp, central
vision needed for activities like reading. Neovascular or “wet” AMD (nAMD) is an advanced form of the disease that
can cause rapid and severe vision loss if left untreated.It develops when new and abnormal blood vessels grow
uncontrolled under the macula, causing swelling, bleeding and/or brosis.Worldwide, around 20 million people 10
are living with nAMD – the leading cause of vision loss in people over the age of 60 4 and the condition will affect
even more people around the world as the global population ages.
About Diabetic Macular Edema
Affecting around 21 million people globally12, diabetic macular edema (DME) is a vision threatening retinal
condition associated with blindness and decreased quality of life when left untreated. DME occurs when damaged
blood vessels in the retina leak into and cause swelling in the macula – the central area of the retina responsible
for the sharp vision needed for reading and driving.The number of people with DME is expected to grow as the
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prevalence of diabetes increases.There remains a signicant unmet need for more effective, longer-lasting
therapies for people with DME.
About Roche Products (India) Pvt. Ltd.
Roche Products (India) Private Limited was incorporated in 1994 as a wholly owned subsidiary of the Roche Group,
headquartered in Basel, Switzerland. Roche is the world’s largest biotech company, with truly differentiated
medicines in oncology, immunology, infectious diseases, ophthalmology, and diseases of the central nervous
system. A leader in oncology treatment in India; apart from cancer, Roche has innovative medicines in other therapy
areas too: transplantation, rheumatoid arthritis (RA), and chronic kidney disease (CKD)-related anaemia. For more
information on Roche Pharma India, visit www.rocheindia.com
For further information, please contact:
Roche Pharma India:
Rajan S | rajan.s@roche.com
Shivani Saraf | shivani.saraf@roche.com