Novartis scraps a slate of Beovu trials after 4-week dosing turned up safety issues — dashing hopes of dethroning Eylea
Safety concerns have forced Novartis to slam the brakes on a trio of late-stage clinical studies for its eye drug Beovu, marring grand ambitions to challenge the throne currently occupied by Regeneron’s Eylea.
Investigators flagged higher rates of intraocular inflammation while reviewing results from the Phase III MERLIN study. Pitted head to head against Eylea and dosed every four weeks following a loading phase, Beovu actually hit the primary endpoint of non-inferiority in change in best corrected visual acuity from baseline out to one year. But there were also more cases of retinal vasculitis and retinal vascular occlusion among those given the Novartis drug — in some cases leading to vision loss.
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