Clinical Trial Research at Wolfe Eye Clinic contributes to FDA Approval of Genentech's Susvimo, a First-of-Its-Kind Therapeutic Approach for Wet Age-Related Macular Degeneration (AMD)

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Wet AMD impacts approximately 1.1 million people in the United States and is a leading cause of blindness in people aged 60 and older. Until now, patients suffering from wet AMD might require eye injections as frequent as every four weeks.

DES MOINES, Iowa, Oct. 27, 2021 /PRNewswire/ -- In a press release Friday, Genentech announced approval of Susvimo, a new advancement in the treatment approach for Wet Age-Related Macular Degeneration (AMD). Susvimo, previously called Port Delivery System with ranibizumab, is the first wet AMD treatment in 15 years to provide an alternative to standard-of-care eye injections that have been needed as often as once a month. According to Genentech, by continuously delivering medicine into the eye through a refillable implant, Susvimo may help people with wet AMD maintain their vision with as few as two treatments per year.

(PRNewsfoto/Wolfe Eye Clinic)
(PRNewsfoto/Wolfe Eye Clinic)

Age-related macular degeneration (AMD) is a condition that affects the macula, the part of the eye that provides sharp, central vision needed for activities like reading, and is a leading cause of blindness for people aged 60 and over in the United States. Wet, or neovascular, AMD is an advanced form of the disease that can cause rapid and severe vision loss. Approximately 11 million people in the United States have some form of AMD, and of those, about 1.1 million have wet AMD1.

Iowa-based Wolfe Eye Clinic continues to be at the center of state-of-the-art research surrounding wet age-related macular degeneration (AMD) treatments that would alleviate patients' need for regular eye injections. Physicians at Wolfe Eye Clinic implanted the first Susvimo in Iowa in March of 2017 and went on to enroll several patients in the Ladder, Portal, and Archway trials which evaluated the safety and efficacy of the Susvimo implant. The clinic is Iowa's only trial site for implant trials which contributed to this exciting FDA approval for Susvimo.

"It's exciting to see approval for Susvimo and continued innovation in treatment for our patients who suffer with wet AMD," said Jared Nielsen, MD, MBA, FASRS, Retina Specialist and Director of Retinal Clinical Trials at Wolfe Eye Clinic. "While the current injection therapy is effective, the treatment burden for many of our patients and caregivers is too high. Our patients who have received the implant during trials have done exceptionally well. Many of these patients who have experience with both the implant and regular injections prefer the Susvimo experience. I am looking forward to offering an effective option for eyes that require frequent injections— reducing visits and eliminating the treatment burden for our patients and their caregivers."

The global clinical trial for PDS showed positive results, which were released as trials continued. Patients being treated using the new PDS with Ranibizumab showed equivalent outcomes to patients being treated with monthly Ranibizumab eye injections. Rather than having monthly medication injections into the eye, the Archway Study examined effectiveness in this customized formulation of Ranibizumab being continually released through the implanted PDS, which would reduce the need to refill. Susvimo is the first and only FDA-approved treatment for wet AMD that now offers as few as two treatments per year.

Wolfe Eye Clinic strives to serve every corner of Iowa with specialized care and breakthrough research. Data from the Archway Study was presented and submitted to health experts across the globe. Genentech notes that Susvimo will be available in the United States in the coming months. With over 40 locations in Iowa including main offices, family vision centers and outreach offices, research and clinical trials is another way Wolfe Eye Clinic is making state-of-the-art eye care accessible for all Iowans.

In medical practice since 1919, Wolfe Eye Clinic is a recognized regional diagnostic and surgical center offering a broad range of ophthalmology care services. Wolfe Eye Clinic has over 50 doctors providing patient care in over 40 communities throughout Iowa including their main offices in Ames, Carroll, Cedar Falls, Cedar Rapids, Fort Dodge, Iowa City, Marshalltown, Ottumwa, Pleasant Hill, Spencer, Waterloo and West Des Moines.

Wolfe Eye Clinic surgeons have specialized fellowship training in the areas of cataract and refractive surgery, cornea and external disease, glaucoma, pediatric ophthalmology and adult strabismus, cosmetic and medical oculofacial plastics, and medical and surgical retina.


For more information, contact:
Kassandra Trenary, (641) 754-6200


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