Aflibercept for the treatment of age-related macular degeneration

Ophthalmol Ther. 2013 Dec;2(2):89-98. doi: 10.1007/s40123-013-0015-2. Epub 2013 Jun 25.


Aflibercept is a novel, recombinant, fusion protein that consists of portions of vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) receptor (R) 1 and VEGFR2 extracellular domains fused to the Fc portion of human immunoglobulin G1. It exhibits higher affinity for VEGF-A/-B and binds all the VEGF isoforms (VEGF-B and -C, placental growth factor). The efficacy of aflibercept was assessed in two randomized, double-masked, multicenter, active-controlled, clinical trials in patients with choroidal neovascularization due to exudative age-related macular degeneration (AMD) and compared it's efficacy to ranibizumab, which is already Food and Drug Administration (FDA)-approved for patients with wet AMD. In the two trials known as VIEW 1 and VIEW 2, aflibercept was as effective when dosed as 2 mg every 8 weeks after 3 monthly loading doses compared to monthly ranibizumab. Aflibercept was well tolerated with very rare systemic adverse events, including arterial thromboembolic events (ATEs). The incidence of ATEs was 1.8% during the first year of the clinical trials and included non-fatal strokes, non-fatal myocardial infarction, or death from vascular events or an unknown cause. In November 2011, aflibercept received FDA approval and is currently used in clinical practice for patients with wet AMD.