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EYLEA® (aflibercept) Injection Receives EU Approval for the Treatment of Diabetic Macular Edema (DME)

TARRYTOWN, N.Y., Aug. 11, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- Regeneron Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (NASDAQ: REGN) today announced that EYLEA® (aflibercept) Injection has been approved by the European Commission for the treatment of visual impairment due to Diabetic Macular Edema (DME).  Bayer Healthcare plans to launch EYLEA in DME in the EU this quarter.

"DME is the leading cause of vision loss in working-age adults in much of the developed world, and we believe EYLEA will be an important new treatment option for these patients," said George D. Yancopoulos, M.D., Ph.D., Chief Scientific Officer of Regeneron and President of Regeneron Laboratories.  "We are pleased that EYLEA is now approved in both the U.S. and the EU for three important ophthalmic indications."

EYLEA was approved in the United States for the treatment of wet Age-related Macular Degeneration (AMD) in 2011, for the treatment of Macular Edema following Central Retinal Vein Occlusion (CRVO) in 2012, and for DME in July 2014.  EYLEA has also been approved in the EU and other countries for use in wet AMD and Macular Edema following CRVO.  Regulatory submissions have also been made in Japan, Asia Pacific, and Latin America for the treatment of DME.  In Japan, EYLEA has been additionally submitted for approval to regulators for the treatment of choroidal neovascularization secondary to pathologic myopia (mCNV).  A regulatory submission has been made in the U.S. and the EU for EYLEA for the treatment of Macular Edema following Branch Retinal Vein Occlusion (BRVO).

About Diabetic Macular Edema (DME)
Diabetic Macular Edema (DME) or "swelling of the macula" is a common complication in the eyes of patients with diabetes.  It is the most frequent cause of vision loss in patients with diabetes and eventually can lead to blindness.1,2  Visual impairment due to DME is estimated to affect 3-4 percent of people with diabetes and is therefore the most frequent cause of blindness in young and middle-aged adults in most developed countries.  As the incidence of diabetes has been steadily climbing, it is projected that the number of people impacted by DME will also grow.

DME occurs when blood vessels in the retina are damaged by chronic high blood sugar levels caused by diabetes.  This allows fluid from blood vessels to leak into the retina, causing macular swelling.  Fluid in the macula can cause severe vision loss or blindness.  The macula is the part of the retina responsible for central fine vision.

Vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF), a member of a naturally occurring family of growth factors in the body, appears to play a critical role in the development of DME.  Increased VEGF production contributes to the vascular disruptions and leakage that characterize DME, as well as the formation of new blood vessels (a process known as angiogenesis). 

About EYLEA® (aflibercept) Injection for Intravitreal Injection
EYLEA is a vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) inhibitor formulated as an injection for the eye.  EYLEA is designed to block the growth of new blood vessels and decrease the ability of fluid to pass through  blood vessels (vascular permeability) in the eye by blocking VEGF-A and placental growth factor (PLGF), two growth factors involved in angiogenesis.  EYLEA helps prevent VEGF-A and PLGF from interacting with their natural VEGF receptors as shown in preclinical studies.

IMPORTANT PRESCRIBING INFORMATION FOR EYLEA® (aflibercept) INJECTION

EYLEA® (aflibercept) Injection is a prescription medicine approved for the treatment of patients with:

Wet AMD: The recommended dose for EYLEA is 2 mg administered by injection in the eye every 2 months (8 weeks) following 3 initial monthly (4 weeks) injections.  EYLEA may be dosed once per month, but additional benefit was not seen with this dosing plan.

Macular Edema following CRVO: The recommended dose for EYLEA is 2 mg administered by injection in the eye monthly (every 4 weeks).

DME: The recommended dose for EYLEA is 2 mg administered by injection in the eye every 2 months (8 weeks) following 5 initial monthly (4 weeks) injections.  EYLEA may be dosed once per month, but additional benefit was not seen with this dosing plan.

IMPORTANT SAFETY INFORMATION FOR EYLEA® (aflibercept) INJECTION

EYLEA® (aflibercept) Injection is a prescription medication administered by injection into the eye.  You should not use EYLEA if you have an infection in or around the eye, eye pain or redness, or known allergies to any of the ingredients in EYLEA, including aflibercept.  As with all medications, EYLEA can cause side effects.

Injection into the eye can result in an infection in the eye and retinal detachment.  Inflammation in the eye has been reported with the use of EYLEA.

In some patients, injections with EYLEA may trigger a temporary increase in eye pressure within 1 hour of the injection.  Sustained increases in eye pressure have been reported with repeated injections and your doctor may monitor this after each injection.

There is a potential risk of serious and sometimes fatal side effects related to blood clots, leading to heart attack or stroke in patients receiving EYLEA.

The most common side effects reported in patients receiving EYLEA are increased redness in the eye, eye pain, cataract, moving spots in the field of vision, increased pressure in the eye and vitreous (gel-like substance) detachment.

Serious side effects related to the injection procedure are rare but can occur including infection inside the eye, retinal detachment, cataract, increased pressure in the eye, and vitreous detachment.  It is important that you contact your doctor right away if you think you might be experiencing any side effects.

You are encouraged to report negative side effects of prescription drugs to the FDA. Visit www.fda.gov/medwatch, or call 1-800-FDA-1088.

Please see the full U.S. Prescribing Information for EYLEA at www.EYLEA.com.

EYLEA is for prescription use only.  For additional safety information, please talk to your doctor and see the full Prescribing Information for EYLEA.

The product information is intended only for residents of the United States.  The product discussed herein may have different labeling in different countries.

About the EYLEA® (aflibercept) Injection Global Collaboration
Bayer HealthCare and Regeneron are collaborating on the global development of EYLEA.  Regeneron maintains exclusive rights to EYLEA in the United States.  Bayer HealthCare has licensed the exclusive marketing rights outside the United States, where the companies share equally the profits from sales of EYLEA, except for Japan, where Regeneron receives a percentage of net sales.

About Regeneron Pharmaceuticals
Regeneron is a leading science-based biopharmaceutical company based in Tarrytown, New York that discovers, invents, develops, manufactures, and commercializes medicines for the treatment of serious medical conditions.  Regeneron commercializes medicines for eye diseases, colorectal cancer, and a rare inflammatory condition and has product candidates in development in other areas of high unmet medical need, including hypercholesterolemia, oncology, rheumatoid arthritis, asthma, and atopic dermatitis.  For additional information about the company, please visit www.regeneron.com.

Regeneron Forward-Looking Statements
This news release includes forward-looking statements that involve risks and uncertainties relating to future events and the future performance of Regeneron, and actual events or results may differ materially from these forward-looking statements.  Words such as "anticipate," "expect," "intend," "plan," "believe," "seek," "estimate," variations of such words, and similar expressions are intended to identify such forward-looking statements, although not all forward-looking statements contain these identifying words. These statements concern, and these risks and uncertainties include, among others, the nature, timing, and possible success and therapeutic applications of Regeneron's products, product candidates, and research and clinical programs now underway or planned, including without limitation EYLEA® (aflibercept) Injection; unforeseen safety issues resulting from the administration of products and product candidates in patients, including serious complications or side effects in connection with the use of Regeneron's product candidates in clinical trials, such as the EYLEA® (aflibercept) Injection VIVID-DME and VISTA-DME studies; the likelihood and timing of possible regulatory approval and commercial launch of Regeneron's late-stage product candidates and new indications for marketed products, such as EYLEA® (aflibercept) Injection in the treatment of macular edema following Branch Retinal Vein Occlusion and choroidal neovascularization secondary to pathologic myopia; ongoing regulatory obligations and oversight impacting Regeneron's research and clinical programs and business, including those relating to patient privacy;  determinations by regulatory and administrative governmental authorities which may delay or restrict Regeneron's ability to continue to develop or commercialize Regeneron's products and product candidates; competing drugs and product candidates that may be superior to Regeneron's products and product candidates; uncertainty of market acceptance and commercial success of Regeneron's products and product candidates; the ability of Regeneron to manufacture and manage supply chains for multiple products and product candidates; coverage and reimbursement determinations by third-party payers, including Medicare and Medicaid; unanticipated expenses; the costs of developing, producing, and selling products; the ability of Regeneron to meet any of its sales or other financial projections or guidance and changes to the assumptions underlying those projections or guidance; the potential for any license or collaboration agreement, including Regeneron's agreements with Sanofi and Bayer HealthCare LLC, to be cancelled or terminated without any further product success; and risks associated with intellectual property of other parties and pending or future litigation relating thereto.  A more complete description of these and other material risks can be found in Regeneron's filings with the United States Securities and Exchange Commission, including its Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2013 and its Form 10-Q for the quarter ended June 30, 2014.  The reader is cautioned not to rely on any forward-looking statements made by Regeneron.  Regeneron does not undertake any obligation to update publicly any forward-looking statement, including without limitation any financial projection or guidance, whether as a result of new information, future events, or otherwise.

Your Investor Relations Contact at Regeneron:
Manisha Narasimhan, Ph.D. Tel. 914.847.5126
E-Mail: [email protected]

Your Media Contact at Regeneron:
Sandy Sexton, Tel. 914.847.3358
E-Mail: [email protected]

References:

  1. Ho A, Scott I, Kim S, et al. Anti-vascular endothelial growth factor pharmacotherapy for diabetic macular edema: a report by the American Academy of Ophthalmology. Ophthalmology. 2012; 119(10): 2179-2188.
  2. Ciulla T, Amador A, Zinman B. Diabetic retinopathy and diabetic macular edema: pathophysiology, screening, and novel therapies. Diabetes Care. 2003; 26(9): 2653-2664.

SOURCE Regeneron Pharmaceuticals, Inc.

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