Anatomical and functional outcomes following switching from aflibercept to ranibizumab in neovascular age-related macular degeneration in Europe: SAFARI study

Richard P. Gale*, Ian Pearce, Nicole Eter, Faruque Ghanchi, Frank G. Holz, Steffen Schmitz-Valckenberg, Konstantinos Balaskas, Ben J.L. Burton, Susan M. Downes, Haralabos Eleftheriadis, Sheena George, David Gilmour, Robin Hamilton, Andrew J. Lotery, Nishal Patel, Priya Prakash, Cynthia Santiago, Saju Thomas, Deepali Varma, Gavin WaltersMichael Williams, Armin Wolf, Rosina H. Zakri, Franklin Igwe, Filis Ayan

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Citations (Scopus)
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Abstract

Background/Aims: Prospective data on switching anti-vascular endothelial growth factors in patients with neovascular age-related macular degeneration (nAMD) who have previously shown no/partial response are limited. This prospective study assessed the effect of switching from aflibercept to ranibizumab on anatomical and functional outcomes in patients with persistent/recurrent disease activity. 

Methods: SAFARI (NCT02161575) was a 6-month, prospective, single-arm study conducted in the UK and Germany. Patients, meeting strict eligibility criteria for one of two subgroups (primary treatment failure or suboptimal treatment response), received 3 monthly intravitreal ranibizumab injections (0.5 mg). Thereafter, ranibizumab was administered pro re nata at monthly visits. The primary endpoint was change from baseline (CfB) to day 90 in central subfield retinal thickness (CSRT). Best-corrected visual acuity (BCVA) and retinal morphology parameters were assessed. 

Results: One hundred patients were enrolled (primary treatment failure, 1; suboptimal treatment response, 99). In the overall population, there was a significant CfB in median CSRT of -30.75 μm (95% CI -59.50,-20.50; p<0.0001) to day 90. Improvements were also observed in other quantitative and qualitative optical coherence tomography parameters. In Early Treatment Diabetic Retinopathy Study letters assessed by category, 55% and 59% of patients gained 0-≥15 letters versus baseline at day 90 and day 180, respectively. However, mean improvements in BCVA (CfB) to each time point were small (≤2 letters). No new safety signals were identified.

Conclusion: Switching from aflibercept to ranibizumab led to a significant improvement in CSRT, with ∼60% experiencing stabilised/improved BCVA. Therefore, patients with nAMD who have shown a suboptimal response to aflibercept may benefit from switching to ranibizumab.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)493-499
Number of pages7
JournalBritish Journal of Ophthalmology
Volume104
Issue number4
Early online date05 Aug 2019
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 24 Mar 2020

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Funding Funding for this study was provided by Novartis Pharmaceuticals UK Limited.

Funding Information:
Competing interests RPG: consultancy, educational grants and institutional research grants for Novartis and Bayer; IP: speakers’ fees, consulting fees and travel support from Novartis and Bayer; NE: grant/research support from Novartis and Bayer; speakers’ honoraria from: Novartis, Bayer, Allergan and Heidelberg Engineering; Advisory board member for: Novartis, Bayer, Allergan, Bausch and Lomb, Alimera Sciences and Roche; consultancy fees from Bayer; FG: consultant for Novartis and Bayer; advisory board member for Novartis and Bayer; speakers’ fees and research support from Bayer; FGH: financial support from: Acucela, Allergan, Bayer, Bioeq, CenterVue, Hoffmann-La Roche/Genentech, Heidelberg Engineering, Novartis, and Zeiss; Consultant for Acucela, Alcon, Bayer, Boehringer-Ingelheim, Hoffmann-La Roche/Genentech, Grayburg Vision, Heidelberg Engineering, Lin Bioscience, Novartis, Stealth Biotherapeutics, and Zeiss; SS-V: financial support from: Acucela, Alcon/Novartis, Allergan, Bayer, Bioeq/Formycon, Carl Zeiss MedicTec, CenterVue, Hoffman-La Roche/Genentech, Heidelberg Engineering, Katairo and Optos; consultant for: Alcon/Novartis, Bioeq/Formycon and Galimedix Therapeutics; recipient of gifts, honoraria, travel reimbursement, patent royalties and/or any other financial compensation from: Alcon/Novartis, Allergan, Bayer, Carl Zeiss MedicTec and Hoffmann-La Roche/Genentech; KB: travel grants and speakers’ fees from: Novartis, Bayer, Alimera, Topcon and Heidelberg Engineering; research grants from Novartis and Bayer; BJLB: advisory board and international conference attendance sponsored by Novartis and Bayer; SD: principal investigator on trials sponsored by: Novartis, Bayer, Roche, and Ely Lilly; speakers’ honoraria from: Novartis, Bayer, Roche and/ or Eli Lilly; conference and travel support from Novartis and Eli Lilly; consultant for Hakko Kyowa and Circadian Therapeutics; grant/research support from Novartis; HE: travel grants and speakers’ fees from Novartis; advisory board member for Novartis; SG: speakers’ fees from Hoffman-La Roche and Novartis; advisory board member for, and travel grants from Bayer; DFG: travel grants from Novartis and Bayer; speakers’ fees from Novartis; RH: research support and travel grants from, and advisory board member for Novartis, Bayer, Allergan, and Ellex; AL: travel support to attend educational meetings from Bayer; NP: grant support and travel grants from Novartis and Bayer; PP: none declared; CS: speakers’ fees, consulting fees, conference and travel support from Novartis and Bayer; ST: travel grant and conference registration from Bayer; DV: travel grants from Novartis, Bayer and Allergan; Advisory board member for: Allergan, Novartis, Bayer, Alcon and Polyphotonix; investigator on clinical trials sponsored or funded by: Novartis, Bayer, Hoffmann-La Roche and Allergan; Speakers’ fees from Bayer and Novartis; GW: advisory board member for, and support to attend conferences from Novartis and Bayer; MAW: travel grants from Novartis, Bayer and Allergan; recipient of grant to develop medical education material on ophthalmology; AW: consulting fees from Novartis and Bayer; speakers’ fees from Novartis; advisory board member for Novartis; travel grants from Bayer; research support from Novartis and Bayer; RHZ: none declared; FI: employee of Novartis Pharmaceuticals UK Ltd; FA: employee of Novartis Pharmaceuticals UK Ltd.

Publisher Copyright:
© Author(s) (or their employer(s)) 2020. Re-use permitted under CC BY-NC. No commercial re-use. See rights and permissions. Published by BMJ.

Copyright:
Copyright 2020 Elsevier B.V., All rights reserved.

Keywords

  • clinical trial
  • degeneration
  • imaging
  • macula
  • neovascularisation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ophthalmology
  • Sensory Systems
  • Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience

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