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AMD implant achieves sustained drug delivery for six months

Some patients with neovascular age-related macular degeneration may soon be able to skip monthly anti-VEGF injections, following positive results from a Phase II trial of a new drug delivery system.

The refillable implant is about the size of a rice grain and can sustainably deliver the anti-VEGF treatment Lucentis (ranibizumab) for months at a time. According to the device’s developer, Genentech, the Port Delivery System (PDS) can be implanted in the eye in around 30 minutes.

“We are highly encouraged by these results and the potential of the PDS,our first implantable, drug delivery program,” Genentech’s chief medical officer Dr Sandra Horning said.

“With the PDS, we have an opportunity to make a positive impact by helping to potentially eliminate the burden of frequent treatments for people with wet AMD.”

The Phase II study was designed to evaluate the efficacy and safety of the PDS in people with neovascular AMD who had previously responded to treatment with anti-vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) therapies. The majority of participants went six months or longer between the implant of the device and the first, required refill.

Phase III trials are expected to start later this year.

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