Roche Canada is thrilled to announce that negotiations with the pan-Canadian Pharmaceutical Alliance (pCPA) have come to a successful conclusion. VABYSMO® (faricimab injection) is now available and indicated for the treatment of two leading causes of vision loss among Canadians: neovascular (wet) age-related macular degeneration (AMD) and diabetic macular edema (DME).1 With this tremendous breakthrough, we look forward to helping Canadians preserve their vision!
The incredible news of securing a letter of intent with the pCPA for VABYSMO brings immense hope to patients with vision loss and their families. Fighting Blindness Canada’s Director of Research and Mission Programs, Larissa Moniz, encourages provinces to recognize the potential benefits of VABYSMO in providing access to treatments of nAMD and DME and to act swiftly in providing it to eligible Canadians.
Roche’s pioneering antibody engineering capabilities are bringing a revolution to the treatment of wet AMD and DME in Canada. VABYSMO, the first solution of its kind, is designed to specifically target both VEGF-A and Ang-2 – two key drivers of vascular instability that have long been linked to major retinal conditions. This revolutionary dual mechanism of action is lighting the way for a brighter future for those suffering from vision-threatening retinal conditions.
Reaching this milestone marks an important leap for Canadians living with vision loss from nAMD and DME, as it opens up access to VABYSMO. Efficacy, safety and durability have all been seen to be impressive from this treatment, and providing quick access to those in need holds utmost importance. Varun Chaudhary, Chief of Ophthalmology and Professor of Surgery from Hamilton Regional Eye Institute of McMaster University, could not stress the importance of this milestone enough.
Canada’s health technology assessment bodies have overwhelmingly endorsed VABYSMO as an effective treatment for nAMD and DME. In particular, The Canadian Agency for Drugs and Technologies in Health (CADTH) and Institut national d’excellence en santé et en services sociaux (INESSS) both recommended the drug in 2022 and 2023 respectively. This marks an impressive milestone in delivering improved healthcare for those with nAMD and DME.
Roche Canada is determined to make VABYSMO widely accessible by working alongside other provincial authorities to ensure its rapid addition into public drug plans. This marks a significant step towards ensuring all Canadians have broad access to the latest treatments.
About VABYSMO® (faricimab injection)
Vabysmo is an innovative, humanized bispecific IgG1 antibody that works to inhibit both Ang-2 and VEGF-A. By inhibiting VEGF-A, this antibody has the capability to suppress both endothelial cell proliferation and neovascularization, as well as reduce vascular permeability. By targeting Ang-2, Vabysmo can promote vascular stability and enable the blood vessels to be less sensitive to VEGF-A. Ang-2 levels are known to be heightened in certain wet AMD and DME patients, making Vabysmo a highly effective tool in these cases.
About Wet Age-Related Macular Degeneration
Age-related Macular Degeneration (AMD) is a serious eye health issue, impacting the vision of millions of Canadians. It affects the macula, the tiny area in the centre of the retina that is responsible for central vision, and it’s the leading cause of vision loss in the country. Wet AMD is an advanced form of the disease that can cause rapid and permanent vision loss if caught too late – and tragically, it affects an estimated 250,000 people in Canada. While AMD can be a debilitating condition, treatment options exist that can help preserve eyesight.
Wet Age-Related Macular Degeneration (AMD) is a vision-threatening condition caused by the growth of abnormal blood vessels, known as choroidal neovascularization (CNV), into the macula. Over time, these vessels leak fluid and blood and cause scar tissue which can significantly deteriorate the central retina if left untreated. The scary part is that this process can happen over months to years without any obvious warning signs.
About Diabetic Macular Edema
Diabetic macular edema (DME) affects roughly 15.7 percent of Canadians and can be a major cause of blindness and decreased quality of life if left untreated.9 It occurs when damaged blood vessels in the retina leak and create inflammation in the macula – the portion of the retina responsible for giving us sharp vision when taking part in activities like reading or driving.10 With diabetes on the rise, the number of those suffering from DME is expected to climb.11 Offering hope, however, is the actionable steps that can be taken to better diagnose and manage the condition.
About Roche Canada
Roche Canada is a leader in the world of pharmaceuticals, in vitro diagnostics, and healthcare technology. We are a passionate advocate for scientific progress and dedicated to improving the quality of life of patients all over the world. With a rich history that dates back to 1931, we have evolved to include expertise in areas such as artificial intelligence, real world data collection and analysis.
Our teams continue to work hard in major disease areas such as oncology, infectious diseases, diabetes, ophthalmology and CNS diseases. With more than 1,800 employees across the country, primarily in our Mississauga, Ontario and Laval, Quebec Pharmaceuticals and Diagnostics divisions, our dedication to relentless pursuit of the impossible continues to drive innovation, progress and life-changing treatments.