Thanks to COVID-19, many annual meetings and other events have been held online this year. One such event was the American Society of Retina Specialists (ASRS) Virtual Annual Meeting, which took place from July 24 through the 26th. According to a Biospace press release, pharmaceutical company EyePoint Pharmaceuticals presented at this meeting on the efficacy of YUTIQ® for patients with uveitis. Presented data came from from a randomized Phase 3 clinical trial.
There are multiple types of uveitis, a type of eye inflammation impacting the uvea (middle layer of the eye). Generally, uveitis affects patients between ages 20 and 60. Causes include eye injury or surgery, infections, toxins, eye cancers, or autoimmune or inflammatory disorders.
Uveitis can affect one or both eyes. The condition can be anterior (affecting the front of the eye), intermediate (affecting the ciliary body), posterior (affecting the retina), or pan (affecting all 3). In the case of this trial, researchers analyzed YUTIQ as a treatment for posterior uveitis. In this case, the condition leads to eye inflammation and damage. If left untreated, posterior uveitis causes vision loss and blindness. An estimated 120,000 U.S. citizens have posterior uveitis, resulting in 30,000 cases of blindness.
- Eye redness and sensitivity
- Light sensitivity
- Blurred vision
- Vision loss or blindness
Learn more about uveitis here.
YUTIQ is an intravitreally-administered insert which delivers 0.18 mg fluocinolone acetonide. Altogether, the implant is designed to last for up to 3 years. In 2018, the FDA approved YUTIQ for the treatment of chronic, non-infectious uveitis affecting the posterior area of the eye.
This therapeutic option was tested in a Phase 3 clinical trial with 129 participants. Of these, 32.5% (42 patients) received a placebo. Alternately, 67.5% (87 patients) received YUTIQ injections. During the ASRS Virtual Annual Meeting, two separate presentations used data from this trial.
Presentation One: “Course of Macular Edema”
Dr. Seenu M. Hariprasad, M.D. delivered this presentation, which centered around changing rates of macular edema within 36 months (3 years) of receiving YUTIQ. According to the National Eye Institute (NEI), macular edema is:
the build-up of fluid in the macula, an area in the center of the retina, [which] causes the macula to swell, [thicken, and distort] vision.
After 3 years, researchers found the following:
- Patients receiving a placebo were much more likely to experience vision loss (9%). In fact, 0% of those receiving YUTIQ lost 3+ lines of vision.
- 50% of patients taking YUTIQ regained 3+ lines of vision, compared to only 22% of those receiving the placebo.
- YUTIQ reduced rates of macular edema by 48%.
Presentation Two: “True Rate of Recurrence of Non-Infectious Posterior Segment Uveitis”
In this secondary presentation, Dr. Dilraj Grewal, M.D. explored how YUTIQ affected uveitis recurrence rates over a 3-year period. During the study, 48% of patients taking YUTIQ experienced uveitis flares. However, many were caused due to other medications rather than YUTIQ itself. After comparing data from both patient arms, researchers found that uveitis recurrence while using YUTIQ is under 56%.