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News Release

Bayer Inc.
2920 Matheson Blvd. E.
Mississauga, ON
(905) 282-5550
News Release
Bayer Receives Health Canada Approval for Eylea® for Two
Additional Indications
Treatment of Visual Impairment due to Macular Edema Secondary to
Central Retinal Vein Occlusion (CRVO) and Diabetic Macular Edema
(DME) are the Second and Third Indications for Eylea® in Canada
MISSISSAUGA, ON, December 1, 2014 – Bayer Inc. announced today that it has received
approval from Health Canada for Eylea® (aflibercept, solution for intravitreal injection) for the
treatment of diabetic macular edema (DME). This new indication comes just six weeks following
the October 16th approval of Eylea® for the treatment of visual impairment due to macular edema
secondary to central retinal vein occlusion (CRVO). These approvals are the second and third
indications for Eylea®, which was first approved in Canada in November 2013 for the treatment of
patients with neovascular (wet) age-related macular degeneration (AMD).
“As an organization serving individuals for over 90 years who are blind or partially sighted, we
know first-hand how sight-threatening conditions, such as CRVO and DME, can impact an
individual’s everyday life. The additional approvals for Eylea® in Canada mean that patients with
CRVO and DME will have more treatment options available to help maintain their sight and help
them carry out their daily activities,” said Dr. Keith Gordon, CNIB, Vice President Research. “This
new treatment option may reduce vision loss due to DME and CRVO, allowing individuals to
better maintain their independence.”
CRVO and DME are significant causes of vision loss in Canada. CRVO affects approximately one
person per 1000 at any one time, and is associated with increasing age, high blood pressure,
diabetes, glaucoma and various disorders of the blood.i It is estimated that vision impairment
resulting from DME affects approximately 2.5 per cent of the nearly 2.4 million Canadians with
diabetes, or approximately 60,000 Canadians, making it a major cause of adult onset vision loss.ii
Diabetic Macular Edema (DME) Approvaliii
The Health Canada approval of Eylea® for the treatment of DME is based on the results of two
Phase III clinical studies (VIVIDDME and VISTADME). In both studies, Eylea® dosed 2 milligrams
monthly (2Q4) and Eylea® dosed 2 milligrams every two months (after 5 initial monthly injections)
(2Q8), achieved the primary endpoint of significantly greater improvements in best-corrected
visual acuity (BCVA) from baseline compared to laser photocoagulation at 52 weeks. Further, in
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the VISTADME study, patients gained a mean +12.5 (2Q4) and +10.7 (2Q8) letter improvement
from baseline and approximately a third of patients gained three lines of vision or more.
The most common adverse reactions were conjunctival hemorrhage, eye pain, cataract and
vitreous floaters.
The recommended dose for Eylea® for the treatment of DME in Canada is 2 mg aflibercept
(equivalent to 50 microliters solution for injection) administered by intravitreal injection monthly
(once every 4 weeks) for the first 5 consecutive doses, followed by one injection every 2 months
(8 weeks).
“The results of two Phase III studies were very positive. Significantly more patients with visual
impairment due to diabetic macular edema experience a two- and three-line improvement in visual
acuity with Eylea®,” said Dr. Michael Kapusta, Ophthalmologist-In-Chief, Jewish General Hospital,
and Director of Retina, McGill University, Montreal. “The decision to approve Eylea will offer retina
specialists and their patients an excellent option in the management of DME.”
Macular Edema Secondary to CRVO Approvaliii
The Health Canada approval of Eylea® for the treatment of visual impairment due to macular
edema secondary to CRVO is based on the results of two Phase III clinical studies
(COPERNICUS and GALILEO). In both studies, the primary efficacy endpoint was the proportion
of patients who gained at least 15 letters in Best Corrected Visual Acuity (BCVA) at Week 24
compared to baseline. Superiority of treatment with Eylea® versus treatment with sham injection
was shown for the primary endpoint at 24 weeks in both studies. Rapid improvements in visual
acuity were observed with Eylea® treatment as early as 4 weeks after the first Eylea® injection.
The most common adverse reactions were conjunctival haemorrhage, intraocular pressure
increased, eye pain, vitreous detachment and vitreous floaters.
The recommended dose for Eylea® for the treatment of macular edema secondary to CRVO is 2
mg Eylea® (aflibercept, solution for intravitreal injection) (0.05 mL or 50 microliters) administered
by intravitreal injection once every month. The interval between two doses should not be shorter
than one month. The treatment interval may be extended up to 3 months based on visual and
anatomic outcomes. Prescribers are advised to periodically assess the need for continued
About VEGF and Eylea® (aflibercept, solution for intravitreal injection)
Vascular Endothelial Growth Factor (VEGF) is a naturally occurring protein in the body. Its normal
role in a healthy organism is to trigger formation of new blood vessels (angiogenesis) supporting
the growth of the body's tissues and organs. It is also associated with the growth of abnormal new
blood vessels in the eye, which exhibit abnormal increased permeability that leads to edema.
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Eylea®, also known as VEGF Trap-Eye, is a recombinant fusion protein, consisting of portions of
human VEGF receptors 1 and 2 extracellular domains fused to the Fc portion of human IgG1 and
formulated as an iso-osmotic solution for intravitreal administration. Eylea® acts as a soluble
decoy receptor that binds VEGF-A and placental growth factor (PlGF) and thereby can inhibit the
binding and activation of their cognate VEGF receptors.
Eylea® has been approved in more than 80 countries for use in wet AMD and more than 60
countries for the treatment of macular edema following CRVO. Eylea® is also approved for the
treatment of DME in over 30 countries.
About Diabetic Macular Edema (DME)
Diabetic macular edema (DME) and diabetic retinopathy (DR) are common microvascular
complications in people with diabetes. Diabetic retinopathy is a disease affecting the blood
vessels of the retina. DME occurs when fluid leaks into the center of the macula, the lightsensitive part of the retina responsible for sharp, direct vision. Fluid in the macula can cause
severe vision loss or blindness.
Visual impairment due to DME is estimated to affect around 3 per cent of people with diabetes
around the world and is therefore the most frequent cause of blindness in young and mid-aged
adults in most developed countries.iv As the incidence of diabetes has been steadily climbing, it is
projected that the number of people impacted by DME will also grow.
About Central Retinal Vein Occlusion (CRVO)
CRVO is caused by obstruction of the central retinal vein that leads to an accumulation of
deoxygenated blood and fluid in the retina. Macular edema secondary to CRVO causes retinal
damage and loss of vision. Release of vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) contributes to
increased vascular permeability in the eye and macular edema. It has been shown that anti-VEGF
treatment helps decrease vascular permeability and edema in the retina in patients with CRVO.
About Wet AMD
AMD is a progressive eye disease that affects a person’s central vision and is a leading cause of
vision loss in Canadians over age 50. There are two forms of AMD – wet and dry. Wet AMD is the
most severe form of the disease, and can result in a loss of central vision within weeks or months.
Living with AMD can be extremely difficult – patients may no longer be able to read, drive or see
the faces of family and friends. Without treatment, AMD can lead to blindness.v,vi,vii
About CNIB
CNIB is a registered charity, passionately providing community-based support, knowledge and a
national voice to ensure Canadians who are blind or partially sighted have the confidence, skills
and opportunities to fully participate in life. For more information, visit
About Bayer in Canada
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Bayer Inc. is a Canadian subsidiary of Bayer AG and the corporate headquarters for the Canadian
operations. Founded in 1863, Bayer AG is an international research-based group with core
businesses in healthcare, crop science and innovative materials committed to creating a better life
for all through science.
In Canada, Bayer operates its healthcare business – Pharmaceuticals, Consumer Care, Diabetes
Care, Animal Health and Radiology & Interventional – from its headquarters in Mississauga, ON,
and Bayer CropScience Inc. operates out of its head office in Calgary, AB. Together with its
material science business, Bayer improves the quality of life for Canadians through products that
fight disease, protect crops and animals, and provide high-performance materials for numerous
daily life uses.
With more than 1,300 employees across the country, in 2013, Bayer had sales of $1.6 billion and
invested $61 million in research and development in Canada. Globally, Bayer AG had sales of
€40.2 billion and invested €3.2 billion in research and development.
For more information about Bayer, please visit
-30Communications Contacts:
Marija Mandic
Bayer Inc.
(905) 282 5376
David Airdrie
Hill+Knowlton Strategies
Forward-Looking Statements
This release may contain forward-looking statements based on current assumptions and forecasts made by Bayer Group or subgroup
management. Various known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors could lead to material differences between the actual
future results, financial situation, development or performance of the company and the estimates given here. These factors include
those discussed in Bayer’s public reports which are available on the Bayer website at The company assumes no
liability whatsoever to update these forward-looking statements or to conform them to future events or developments.
i Braithwaite T, Nanji AA, Lindsley K, Greenberg PB. Anti-vascular endothelial growth factor for macular oedema secondary to central retinal vein occlusion (Review). The
Cochrane Collaboration, Issue 5 2014. Last accessed on November 2014
ii CNIB website last accessed November, 2014.
iii Eylea® Product Monograph, November 2014
iv Petrella, RJ et al. "Prevalence, Demographics, and Treatment Characteristics of Visual Impairment due to Diabetic Macular Edema in a Representative Canadian Cohort,"
Journal of Ophthalmology, vol. 2012, Article ID 159167, 6 pages, 2012. doi:10.1155/2012/159167.
Minassian DC et al. Prevalence of diabetic macula edema and related health and social care resource use in England. Br J Ophthalmol. 2012 Mar;96(3):345-9
v CNIB website last accessed November, 2014.
vi Foundation Fighting Blindness website last accessed November, 2014.
vii Canadian Ophthalmological Society website last accessed November,
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