Ophthalmology

Targeting Vascular Endothelial Growth Factor (VEGF)

Robert Vitti Robert Vitti, M.D., M.B.A. VP Clinical Sciences Ophthalmology

Regeneron is evaluating a potential treatment for vision-threatening eye diseases characterized by the growth of abnormal blood vessels and leakage of fluid behind the macula, the central portion of the retina that is responsible for central vision.

The Regeneron program targets vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF). While the VEGF protein stimulates the formation of blood vessels that are necessary to supply nutrients to tissues, excessive VEGF production is a major contributing factor in a number of diseases including diseases of the retina. In these conditions, blood vessels become fragile, and fluid and blood can leak into surrounding tissues, causing vision-threatening swelling in the area of the macula. If untreated, the swelling can damage the cells of the macula, create blind spots in central vision, and lead to permanent vision loss.

Regeneron, in a global collaboration with Bayer HealthCare, is evaluating intravitreal aflibercept injection, known in the scientific literature as VEGF Trap-Eye, for the treatment of eye diseases.

EYLEA®  (aflibercept) Injection is a purified and formulated preparation of aflibercept, specifically for intravitreal injection. It is a fusion protein designed by Regeneron scientists to bind multiple isoforms of Vascular Endothelial Growth Factor-A (VEGF-A) and Placental Growth Factor (PlGF). VEGF-A and PlGF are proteins that are involved in the abnormal growth of new blood vessels in certain diseases. By blocking the effects of VEGF-A and PlGF, aflibercept injection may provide a therapeutic effect in patients suffering from various eye disorders characterized by abnormal blood vessels and leakage of fluid in the retina and macula.

Regeneron maintains exclusive rights to aflibercept injection in the U.S. Bayer HealthCare will market it outside the U.S., where the companies will share profits equally.

This section discusses pipeline drug candidates currently undergoing clinical testing in a variety of diseases. The safety and efficacy of these drug candidates have not been evaluated by any regulatory authorities for the indications described in this section.

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