Germany’s IQWiG Confirms That ThromboGenics’ JETREA® Demonstrates Major Added Value for the Treatment of Vitreomacular Traction and Macular Hole
LEUVEN, Belgium, August 2, 2013 /PRNewswire/ –
ThromboGenics NV (Euronext Brussels: THR) a biopharmaceutical company focused on
developing and commercializing innovative ophthalmic medicines, announces today that the
German Institute for Quality and Efficiency in Health Care (IQWiG) has confirmed that
JETREA(R) (ocriplasmin) demonstrates major / significant added value in VMT patients with
mild / moderately severe symptoms compared with existing comparative treatment, when
treating vitreomacular traction (VMT) including when associated with a macular hole of
less than or equal to 400 microns.
JETREA(R) is the first pharmacological treatment indicated for use in patients
diagnosed with VMT and macular hole of diameter less than or equal to 400 microns. It was
approved for this indication in the European Union in March 2013. Partner Alcon launched
the drug in Germany at the beginning of May.
There are no other pharmacological treatments in development for VMT. Currently
patients either have to watch and wait before they are considered eligible for surgery.
Surgery is typically performed only at a later stage of a patient’s disease, once symptoms
progress and their sight deteriorates significantly.
IQWiG is an independent federal organization that evaluates a drug’s quality and
efficiency, which makes a recommendation to the Federal Joint Committee (G-BA). G-BA is
expected to issue final guidance on JETREA(R) in mid-October 2013.
IQWiG recognizes that the data submitted by ThromboGenics in the course of the value
assessment provides an indication (Hinweis) for a major added value for VMT patients with
mild symptoms and a significant added value for patients with moderately severe symptoms.
Since the introduction of the Early Benefit Assessment in Germany in January 2011, this is
the very first time that IQWiG confirms an indication for a major added value (Hinweis auf
einen erheblichen Zusatznutzen) for an innovative new drug substance.
Dr Patrik De Haes, CEO of ThromboGenics, said: “IQWiG’s assessment confirming the
significant additional benefits of JETREA(R)for VMT validates the importance of our novel
drug in treating patients with this major sight-threatening disease. For the first time,
patients can be treated at an earlier stage of their disease, rather than having to watch
and wait until their symptoms worsen. We, and our partner Alcon, look forward to working
with G-BA to ensure that the positive benefits shown by JETREA(R)are reflected in its
Earlier this year, JETREA(R) was classified as a breakthrough innovation, the highest
rating in the so-called ‘Fricke and Klaus’ assessment1. This assessment evaluates how
innovative the mechanism of action of a new medicine is compared to existing therapies
available in Germany.
JETREA(R) contains the active substance ocriplasmin. It is administered through a
single intravitreal injection to treat adults with vitreomacular traction (VMT).
VMT is a progressive, sight-threatening condition. It is caused by the vitreous humour
having an abnormally strong attachment to the macula, the central part of the retina (the
light sensitive membrane at the back of the eye). The macula provides central vision that
is needed for everyday tasks such as driving, reading and recognizing faces.
When the vitreous humor shrinks, the strong attachment results in a pulling force on
the retina, which may lead to visual distortion, decreased visual acuity and central
blindness. When the disease progresses the traction may eventually result in the formation
of a hole in the macula (called a macular hole).
JETREA(R) breaks down the protein fibers which cause the abnormal traction between the
vitreous and the macula that causes VMT. By dissolving these proteins, JETREA(R) releases
the traction, and helps to complete the detachment of the vitreous from the macula.
JETREA(R) can also be used when VMT has progressed and caused a small hole in the
macula (central part of the light-sensitive layer at the back of the eye).
The current approach in the EU is ‘observation’, ‘watchful waiting’ or ‘watch and
wait’ until a patient becomes a candidate for surgical treatment, usually at a late stage
of the disease.2,3 A patient would then receive a surgical procedure and repair of the
retina. However, for many patients this is not a suitable option, as irreversible damage
to the retina may have already occurred.4,5
ThromboGenics is continuing to work closely with Alcon to ensure patients across
Europe and rest of the world can access this innovative medicine and receive JETREA(R) as
soon as it becomes available in the respective countries.
1. German pharmaceutical journal PZ online
2. Idiopathic macular hole. American Academy of Ophthalmology; 2008
3. Stalmans P. Management and intervention strategies for symptomatic vitreomacular
adhesions. Retinal Physician 2011
4. Koerner F & Garweg J. Vitrectomy for macular pucker and vitreomacular traction
syndrome. Doc Ophthalmol 1999;97:449-458
5. Dugel PU, Brown DM, Humayun MS et al. Symptomatic vitreomacular adhesion:
diagnosis, pathologic implications, and management. Retina Today 2011;(Suppl):1-14
JETREA(R) (ocriplasmin) is a truncated form of human plasmin. In the US, JETREA(R) is
indicated for the treatment of symptomatic VMA. In Europe, JETREA(R) is indicated for the
treatment of vitreomacular traction (VMT), including when associated with macular hole of
diameter less than or equal to 400 microns. JETREA(R) is a selective proteolytic enzyme
that cleaves fibronectin, laminin and collagen, three major components of the
vitreoretinal interface that play an important role in vitreomacular adhesion.
JETREA(R) has been evaluated in two multi-center, randomized, double-masked Phase III
trials conducted in the U.S. and Europe involving 652 patients with vitreomacular
adhesion. Both studies met the primary endpoint of resolution of VMA at day 28.
JETREA’s Phase III program found that 26.5% of patients treated with ocriplasmin saw
resolution of VMA, compared with 10.1% of patients receiving placebo (p<0.01). The Phase
III program also showed that JETREA was generally well tolerated with most adverse events
being transient and mild in severity.
ThromboGenics is an integrated biopharmaceutical company focused on developing and
commercializing innovative ophthalmic and oncology medicines. The Company’s lead product,
JETREA(R) (ocriplasmin), has been approved by the US FDA for the treatment of symptomatic
VMA and was launched in January 2013.
ThromboGenics signed a strategic partnership with Alcon (Novartis) for the
commercialization of JETREA(R) outside the United States. Under this agreement,
ThromboGenics could receive up to a total of EUR375 million in up-front and milestone
payments. It will receive significant royalties from Alcon’s net sales of JETREA(R).
ThromboGenics and Alcon intend to share the costs equally of developing JETREA(R) for a
number of new vitreoretinal indications.
In Europe, JETREA(R) is approved for the treatment of vitreomacular traction (VMT),
including when associated with macular hole of diameter less than or equal to 400 microns.
Alcon has launched JETREA(R) in the UK, Germany, Denmark, Norway, Finland and Sweden.
ThromboGenics is also further exploring anti-PIGF (Placental Growth Factor), also
referred to as TB-403, for the treatment of ophthalmic and oncology indications.
ThromboGenics is headquartered in Leuven, Belgium, and has-offices in Iselin, NJ (US)
and Dublin, Ireland. The Company is listed on the NYSE Euronext Brussels exchange under
the symbol THR. More information is available at http://www.thrombogenics.com.
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For further information please contact: Thrombogenics Wouter Piepers, Global Head of Corporate Communications +32 16 75 13 10 / +32 478 33 56 32 Wouter.firstname.lastname@example.org Dr. Patrik De Haes, CEO +32 16 75 13 10 Patrik.email@example.com Chris Buyse, CFO +32 16 75 13 10 Chris.firstname.lastname@example.org Citigate Dewe Rogerson David Dible/ Nina Enegren/ Sita Shah Tel: +44 20 7638 9571 email@example.com The Trout Group (US investor relations) Todd James/ Simon Harnest Tel: +1 646 378 2926 firstname.lastname@example.org
SOURCE ThromboGenics NV