Tracon Pharmaceuticals and Santen have decided to halt development of DE-122 for wet age-related macular degeneration (AMD), after reviewing recently obtained top-line data from the Phase IIa AVANTE clinical study.

The trial data showed that the addition of DE-122 to Roche's Lucentis (ranibizumab) did not improve visual acuity compared to treatment with Lucentis alone, leading the companies to “discontinue the development of DE-122”, as Tracon detailed in a release.

Last month, Novartis received European Commission (EC) approval for Beovu (brolucizumab) in wet AMD, making the drug the first EC-approved anti-VEGF treatment to demonstrate superior resolution of retinal fluid.

Bayer’s Eylea (aflibercept), another pipeline drug in the works for wet AMD, recently proved its efficacy and safety in the Phase IV ALTAIR study. The company revealed that when using two different Treat and Extend (T&E) dosing regimens in patients, at week 96 up to 60% of patients were able to receive three-monthly or more injections, with more than 40% able to receive four-monthly injections.

Wet age-related macular degeneration is an eye disorder that causes blurred vision or a blind spot. Abnormal blood vessels under the retina begin to grow toward the macula and they tend to break, bleed, and leak fluid, damaging the macula and causing it to lift up and pull away from its base. This can result in a rapid and severe loss of central vision.