Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Menu -- Part 7: A Complete Listing of Avastin/Lucentis Postings for Treating AMD

Since posting the original article on January 31, 2006, I have now added thirteen updates on these important drugs for treating wet age-related macular degeneration. Here is a complete listing (with links) to all postings published to date:

Avastin: A New Hope for Treating AMD (January 2006)

This is the original article that started the series off. I had learned about Avastin earlier the summer before from a report published by Lynne Peterson, became intrigued with its potential, and after reading the reports from that fall’s AAO meeting (from Michael Lachman and Dave Harmon), and January’s Hawaiian Eye Meeting (Michael Lachman), decided I had to write about it on my web Journal.

Avastin Update: Medicare not Likely to Cover its Use (March 2006)

Ophthalmology Times reported that the off-label use of Avastin would probably not be covered by Medicare – later events proved that observation wrong.

Avastin Update II: AAO supports Medicare Coverage for Off-label Avastin Use (April 2006)

In a statement published by OSN’s Supersite, the AAO came out supporting Medicare coverage for Avastin.

ARVO 2006: A Further Update on Both Avastin and Lucentis for Treating AMD (May 2006)

At the Spring 2006 ARVO meeting, new reports surfaced on the effectiveness of both Lucentis and Avastin in the treatment of AMD. This report also includes commentary on “other” applications or treatments being considered/tested for Avastin.

Avastin/Lucentis Update 4: FDA Approves Lucentis for Treating Wet AMD (July 2006)

On June 30th, the FDA approved Lucentis for treating wet AMD.

Avastin Update 5: NIH Considers Comparing Lucentis and Avastin (August 2006)

I first learned about the possibility of an NIH-sponsored head-to-head test of Lucentis vs. Avastin in early August, in a report published in that month’s issue of Dave Harmon’s Ophthalmic Market Perspectives.

Avastin/Lucentis Update 6: Latest Results Published in NEJM and Another Call for a Trial Between Them (October 2006)

Finally, in early October, the NEJM published the latest clinical results of both Avastin and Lucentis, and an editorial calling for a direct clinical trial between the two drugs.

Avastin/Lucentis Update 7: BREAKING NEWS – NEI/NIH Will Fund Comparative Study (October 2006)

This was followed by an announcement from the NIH/NEI that the agencies would fund a clinical trial comparing the two drugs.

Avastin/Lucentis Update 8: A Report of the Latest News from the 2006 AAO Meeting (November 2006)

Michael Lachman’s EyeQ Report No. 9 provided complete coverage of the latest clinical results on both Avastin and Lucentis from the Fall AAO meeting.

Avastin/Lucentis Update 9: A Disturbing Report about the Upcoming Trial Between Avastin and Lucentis (December 2006)

The first inkling of trouble in the NIH sponsored clinical trial between Avastin and Lucentis was reported by Lynne Peterson in her Executive Laser Report following the Fall AAO meeting. She reported on Dr. William Rich’s comments that some industry elements were trying to stop the head-to-head study.

Avastin/Lucentis Update 10: A Review of the Current Status of These Drugs for Treating AMD (January 2007)

A comprehensive report on the latest clinical results were presented in a supplement to the December issue of Review of Ophthalmology. I was given permission to reproduce parts of it by the publisher.

Avastin/Lucentis Update 11: A White Paper on Why Avastin vs Lucentis Matters (February 2007)

A group of retinal specialists, alarmed about the cost to the public health system of the high cost of Lucentis, wrote this White Paper, expressing their views. I was given permission to reproduce their paper.

Avastin/Lucentis Update 12: The Controversy Makes the Front Page of the WSJ (February 2007)

After some prodding on my part (and others), Marilyn Chase of the WSJ took up our cry and published an excellent look at what was going on behind the scenes in the fight to get the NIH study to go forward.

Avastin/Lucentis Update 13: Genentech’s Two Headed Monster: Lucentis and Avastin (March 2007)

This article was posted on a website called HealthDot@ It contained a very interesting fifteen minute interview with Dr. William Rich of the AAO about the controversy.
The article, with a link to the interview, was reproduced with permission of the publisher.