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Beovu® (brolucizumab injection) now publicly reimbursed in Ontario and New Brunswick for the treatment of neovascular (wet) age-related macular degeneration

  • Beovu® is an anti-VEGF that offers the option for eligible patients to start on a three-month dosing interval immediately after the loading phase with no compromise in efficacy.1,2

  • While wet age-related macular degeneration (AMD) represents 10 to 20 per cent of all AMD cases, it is the most severe form of AMD and is responsible for 90 per cent of vision loss associated with this disease.3

DORVAL, QC, Dec. 17, 2021 /CNW/ – Novartis Pharmaceuticals Canada Inc. (Novartis) is pleased to announce that PrBeovu® (brolucizumab injection) is now listed on the Ontario Drug Benefit Formulary and the New Brunswick Drug Plan for the treatment of neovascular (wet) age-related macular degeneration (AMD) for eligible patients.

Novartis Logo (CNW Group/Novartis Pharmaceuticals Canada Inc.)Novartis Logo (CNW Group/Novartis Pharmaceuticals Canada Inc.)

Novartis Logo (CNW Group/Novartis Pharmaceuticals Canada Inc.)

« We would like to thank the Governments of Ontario and New Brunswick for their leadership in making Beovu® accessible for eligible patients and remain committed to working collaboratively with the remaining provinces to ensure patients across the country can benefit from this therapy. Access to this next generation wet AMD treatment will make a difference to the vision health of Canadians and represents another step towards Novartis’ goal of eradicating preventable blindness, » said Andrea Marazzi, Country Pharma Organization Head, Novartis Pharmaceuticals Canada Inc.

Affecting more than 2.5 million Canadians, AMD is a chronic disease of the retina that causes progressive loss of central vision and is the leading cause of vision loss in people over the age of 50.4,5,6 There are two types of AMD – dry and wet.4 In wet AMD, new blood vessels grow under the macula and leak fluid into the eye causing scarring of the macula.7 Left untreated, wet AMD can lead to profound, rapid, and permanent loss of sight.4,8,9 Vision loss has a significant impact on people’s quality of life and mental health – their autonomy is lost, they can’t drive, read or see the faces of their loved ones, often leading them to experience feelings of social isolation and depression.9,10

« Given wet AMD can be aggressive in its progression and has no cure, it can have a devastating impact on patients and their vision if patients don’t adhere to the regular treatment that is required, » said Dr. Peter Kertes, MD, ophthalmologist and retinal specialist, Sunnybrook Hospital, Toronto. « As someone who knows how important extended treatment intervals can be for patients, I welcome the news that Beovu® is now publicly funded in these provinces, providing a new treatment option for wet AMD. »

Anti-vascular endothelial growth factor (anti-VEGF) therapy is widely regarded as the standard of care for patients with wet AMD.11 Approved by Health Canada in March 2020, Beovu® is an anti-VEGF that offers the option for eligible patients to start on a three-month dosing interval immediately after the first three doses (loading phase).1,2

« Regular treatment is key to preserving sight and maintaining the independence of people living with wet AMD, » said Doug Earle, president and CEO, Fighting Blindness Canada. « It may be challenging to keep up with frequent appointments, especially for those living in remote or isolated communities, or requiring mobility assistance. These issues have further been exacerbated by COVID-19. The Governments of Ontario and New Brunswick’s decision to add Beovu® to their provincial formularies offers the opportunity to reduce the burden of frequent injections and will be meaningful to provide treatment options for people living with wet AMD and their loved ones. »

About Beovu® (brolucizumab injection)
Beovu® (brolucizumab injection) is a humanized vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) inhibitor that binds to VEGF-A isoforms, thereby preventing binding of VEGF-A to its receptors VEGFR-1 and VEGFR-2. By inhibiting VEGF-A binding, Beovu® suppresses endothelial cell proliferation in vitro and reduces neovascularization of vascular permeability.1

Beovu® received Health Canada approval on March 12, 2020 for the treatment of neovascular (wet) age-related macular degeneration (AMD) based on findings from the pivotal HAWK and HARRIER Phase III studies.1

The full prescribing information for Beovu® can be found at: www.novartis.ca.

About Novartis in Ophthalmology
At Novartis, our mission is to discover new ways to improve and extend people’s lives. In ophthalmology, we develop and deliver life-changing medicines and therapies for diseases and conditions from front to back of the eye, enabled by data and transformative technologies. Our ophthalmic solutions reach more than 150 million people per year, from premature infants to the elderly.

About Novartis Pharmaceuticals Canada Inc.
Novartis Pharmaceuticals Canada Inc., a leader in the healthcare field, is committed to the discovery, development and marketing of innovative products to improve the well-being of all Canadians. In 2020, the company invested $45 million in research and development in Canada. Located in Dorval, Quebec, Novartis Pharmaceuticals Canada Inc. employs approximately 1,000 people in Canada and is an affiliate of Novartis AG, which provides innovative healthcare solutions that address the evolving needs of patients and societies. The company prides itself on its commitment to diversity and to nurturing an inclusive and inspiring environment. Novartis is recognized as a Great Place to Work®, ranked among the Top 50 Best Workplaces™ in the country and is proudly named on the 2021 Best Workplaces™ for Women in Canada and Best Workplace™ for Mental Wellness lists. For further information, please consult www.novartis.ca.

About Novartis
Novartis is reimagining medicine to improve and extend people’s lives. As a leading global medicines company, we use innovative science and digital technologies to create transformative treatments in areas of great medical need. In our quest to find new medicines, we consistently rank among the world’s top companies investing in research and development. Novartis products reach more than 800 million people globally and we are finding innovative ways to expand access to our latest treatments. About 110,000 people of more than 140 nationalities work at Novartis around the world. Find out more at www.novartis.com.

Beovu is a registered trademark.

References

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1. Beovu® Product Monograph. November 23, 2021. Available at: www.novartis.ca/beovumonograph. Accessed on December 2, 2021.

2. American Academy of Ophthalmology. HAWK and HARRIER: Phase 3, Multicenter, Randomized, Double-Masked Trials of Brolucizumab for Neovascular Age-Related Macular Degeneration. Available at: https://www.aaojournal.org/article/S0161-6420(18)33018-5/fulltext. Accessed on December 2, 2021.

3 Institut national d’excellence en santé et en services sociaux. Efficacité et innocuité de la monothérapie antiangiogénique dans le traitement de la dégénérescence maculaire liée à l’âge. Available at: https://www.inesss.qc.ca/fileadmin/doc/INESSS/Rapports/DMLA/Note_informative_DMLA.pdf. Accessed on December 2, 2021.

4 Medscape. Age-Related Macular Degeneration. Available at: https://www.medscape.com/viewarticle/848348_print. Accessed on December 2, 2021.

5 Fighting Blindness Canada. AMD Survey. Available at: https://www.fightingblindness.ca/amdsurvey/. Accessed on December 2, 2021.

6 Canadian Council of the Blind. The Cost of Vision Loss and Blindness in Canada. Available at: https://www.fightingblindness.ca/wp-content/uploads/2021/05/Deloitte-Final-Acc-of-VL-and-Blindness-in-Canada-May-2021.pdf. Accessed on December 2, 2021.

7 American Academy of Ophthalmology. What is Macular Degeneration? Available at: https://www.aao.org/eye-health/diseases/amd-macular-degeneration. Accessed on December 2, 2021.

8 Fighting Blindness Canada. Age Related Macular Degeneration. Available at: https://www.fightingblindness.ca/eyehealth/eye-diseases/age-related-macular-degeneration/. Accessed on December 2, 2021.

9 Wykoff CC et al. Optimizing Anti-VEGF Treatment Outcomes for Patients with Neovascular Age-Related Macular Degeneration. J Manag Care Spec Pharm. 2018 Feb. Available at: https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/29383980/. Accessed on December 2, 2021.

10 American Macular Degeneration Foundation. Depression in Age-related Macular Degeneration. Available at: https://www.macular.org/depression-amd-arnold-wyse-md. Accessed on December 2, 2021.

11 CADTH Therapeutic Report. Anti-Vascular Endothelial Growth Factor Drugs for the Treatment of Retinal Conditions Recommendations Report. 2016. Available at: https://www.cadth.ca/sites/default/files/pdf/TR0009_Anti-VEGFs_Recs_Report.pdf. Accessed on December 2, 2021.

SOURCE Novartis Pharmaceuticals Canada Inc.

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