Diabetic macular oedema (DME) is one of the most common diabetes-related eye complications and causes of vision loss (c12% of people with Type 1 and 28% of people with Type 2 are affected by DME). DME occurs when blood vessels in the eyes become damaged, and fluid starts to leak into the macula, a part of the retina that is responsible for a person’s most vivid, central vision. This buildup often happens because new small blood vessels form in the macula, a process driven by a hormone called VEGF.
The FDA has now approved Beovu (brolucizumab) – a VEGF inhibitor which stops the formation of new blood vessels in the macula and can prevent further fluid buildup – to treat DME for people with Type 1 or Type 2 diabetes. The drug was also approved for DME in Europe in March 2022.
Beovu’s approval for DME follows encouraging data from two clinical trials which compared Beovu to Eylea, a similar eye medication that is the current standard treatment for DME. The study showed that people taking Beovu had similar improvements in visual acuity (ability to distinguish shapes and objects) and reductions in fluid buildup when compared to the impact of Eylea, but that Beovu requires fewer injected doses to achieve the same effect.
For people with DME, this means fewer visits to the clinic, fewer injections to the eye, and potentially lower cost of treatment.
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