Anti-VEGF Reduces Risk of Proliferative Diabetic Retinopathy Progression

Kevin Kunzmann

A discussion on the uncovered benefits in risk reduction observed in patients with severe NDPR.

An assessment of data from the PANORAMA and RISE/RIDE clinical programs show that intravitreal (IV) anti-VEGF therapies aflibercept and ranibizumab could significantly reduce risk of patient progression from non-proliferative diabetic retinopathy (NPDR) to proliferative DR over 5 years.

The data, presented at the Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology (ARVO) 2021 Virtual Sessions this week by Jennifer Lim, MD, of the Illinois Eye and Ear Infirmary at the University of Illinois at Chicago, showed that a discrete event simulation model projected patients with severe NPDR could experience a 19.4% risk reduction in PDR events over 5 years when treated with anti-VEGF therapy, versus those who were untreated.

In total, the simulated cohort of 86,000-plus severe disease patients estimated that five-year risk of PDR among treated patients was 18.1%, and 10-year risk of blindness was 1.9%. Comparatively, the risks for untreated patients were 37.5% and 4.4%, respectively.

In an interview with HCPLive during ARVO 2021, Lim explained the idea of the study, borne out of previous teams’ assessment of DR risk reduction with anti-VEGF therapy—an outcome supplemental to other successes sought with the drug class.

Lim’s team prosed whether anti-VEGF therapies couldhelp prevent a patient with moderate-to-severe NPDR progress to proliferative disease, all the while reducing NPDR prevalence overall.

“It really was the fact that people noticed this—they picked this up as an added benefit,” Lim explained. “So when we looked at the colored pictures in all these studies, we were saying, ‘Wow, the levels of retinopathy are getting better.’ So that was the premise of the study—and it was an added benefit.”

The study, “Long-term clinical impact of intravitreal anti-VEGF therapy for severe non-proliferative diabetic retinopathy (NPDR): Analyses through a discrete event simulation model,” was presented at ARVO 2021.