Anchors aweigh! Say farewell to verteporfin and ahoy to ranibizumab. In this double-masked phase III clinical trial, ranibizumab, an anti-VEGF antibody, was compared with the standard of care of the time - verteporfin photodynamic therapy (PDT). 423 patients with age-related macular degeneration (AMD) with predominantly classic neovascularization (CNV) were randomized to receive either verteporfin PDT, or monthly intravitreal ranibizumab (0.3 mg or 0.5 mg) for 2 years.
Results of the ANCHOR trial confirmed the clinical benefit of ranibizumab found in the landmark MARINA study, and demonstrated that ranibizumab outperformed verteporfin PDT in all measures evaluated in AMD patients with predominantly classical CNV lesions. Together they were instrumental in altering clinical practice and providing new hope in patients with numerous retinal conditions.
- Ranibizumab was superior in preserving and improving visual acuity: ~90% lost fewer than 15 letters, and 34-41% gained >15 letters compared to ~65% and 6.3% in the PDT group
- Ranibizumab treatment significantly improved the size and severity of angiographic lesions, stabilizing the total lesion area and decreasing area of classic CNV
- Ranibizumab did not increase risk of ocular or systemic adverse events