To evaluate the impact of modifying the abicipar pegol (abicipar) manufacturing process on the safety and treatment effect of abicipar in patients with neovascular age-related macular degeneration (nAMD).
A new process for manufacturing abicipar was developed to reduce host cell impurities. In a prospective, Phase 2, multicenter, open-label, 28-week clinical trial, patients (n=123) with active nAMD received intravitreal injections of abicipar 2 mg at baseline (day 1) and weeks 4, 8, 16, and 24. Outcome measures included proportion of patients with stable vision (<15-letter loss from baseline; primary endpoint), change from baseline in best-corrected visual acuity (BCVA) and central retinal thickness (CRT), and adverse events.
Overall, 8.9% (11/123) of patients experienced intraocular inflammation (IOI) and discontinued treatment. IOI cases were assessed as mild (2.4% [3/123]), moderate (4.9% [6/123]), or severe (1.6% [2/123]) and resolved with steroid treatment. Visual acuity in most patients with IOI (8 of 11) recovered to baseline BCVA or better by study end. No cases of endophthalmitis or retinal vasculitis were reported. Stable vision was maintained for ≥95.9% (≥118/123) of patients at all study visits. At week 28, treatment-naïve patients showed a greater mean improvement from baseline in BCVA compared with previously treated patients (4.4 vs 1.8 letters) and a larger mean CRT reduction from baseline (98.5 vs 45.5 μm).
Abicipar produced using a modified manufacturing process showed a moderately lower incidence and severity of IOI compared with Phase 3 abicipar studies. Beneficial effects of treatment were demonstrated.