Intravitreal injections of bevacizumab for retinal neovascular diseases
In 2013, the World Health Organization (WHO) has placed bevacizumab (Avastin) for neovascular eye diseases on the WHO Model list of Essential Medicines. This list serves as a guide for making choices on providing medicines for every country within their health system. Bevacizumab is a indicated for the treatment of multiple types of cancer according to the license. It was not manufactured for intravitreal injection. However, > 10 years of clinical use has proven that bevacizumab is an affordable and safe alternative for ranibizumab (Lucentis). Until now there is no pharmaceutical form like the prefilled syringes of Lucentis. For ophthalmic use of bevacizumab, a single-use vial is split into multiple syringes for intravitreal injections. There is an ongoing debate on this procedure, mainly because of sterility and the accuracy of the injection volume. For the safety of the patient and comfort for the ophthalmologist a prefilled syringe with 24 months shelf life is being preferred. UCAB is in the process to explore if it is possible to produce a pharmaceutical form of bevacizumab for intravitreal injections.