Tuesday, October 06, 2009

Avastin/Lucentis Update 28: Sustained Release Lucentis May Eventually Change the Equation

In an announcement this morning, Roche and Genentech announced that they had struck a licensing and development deal with Surmodics, Inc., for the latter’s proprietary, biodegradable microparticle drug delivery system. The companies plan on developing a sustained release delivery formulation for Lucentis to treat age-related macular degeneration.

The agreement also provides Roche and Genentech with the opportunity to develop additional compounds, using a sustained drug delivery system, for the treatment of other ophthalmic diseases.

If the new sustained release version of Lucentis provides a better mechanism for delivering this anti-VEGF drug to the retina, acting over a sustained period, it could change the number of doses required for treatment. If one long-lasting Lucentis treatment provides a better outcome than several monthly injections, the patient and doctor interaction could be drastically reduced from the current need for five or six injections per year, to possibly a single or two doses!

However, a development program of this type will probably require a full Phase 3 study and might take close to five years to reach the market.

So, for now, don’t hold your breath!


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