Japanese regulators have expanded the scope of Bayer’s eye jab Elyea to include treatment of a common retinal vascular disease that affects around 2% of people aged over 40 in the country.

The Japanese Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare has now cleared Elyea (aflibercept) for patients with macular oedema secondary to retinal vein occlusion (RVO), a chronic eye condition caused by a blockage in a blood vessel of the retina that can lead to sudden vision loss.

The indication now includes macular oedema secondary to branch retinal vein occlusion (BRVO) in addition to the previously-approved macular oedema secondary to central retinal vein occlusion (CRVO), significantly expanding the drug’s reach.

Approval came on the back of data from the Phase III VIBRANT study in patients with visual impairment due to macular oedema secondary to BRVO, in which more than half of patients receiving Eylea gained at least three lines (15 letters) of vision.