Comparative Effectiveness Study of Intravitreal Aflibercept, Bevacizumab, and Ranibizumab for DME (Protocol T)

This study is ongoing, but not recruiting participants.
Genentech, Inc.
Regeneron Pharmaceuticals
Information provided by (Responsible Party):
Diabetic Retinopathy Clinical Research Network Identifier:
First received: June 21, 2012
Last updated: December 1, 2014
Last verified: December 2014

Although multiple studies have suggested that treatment with ranibizumab is safe and efficacious and superior to focal/grid laser alone for patients with center-involved DME, there may be barriers in place to widespread adoption of ranibizumab use given its high cost per dose and the need for multiple treatments over time. Prioritizing resources from a public health policy perspective could be easier if more precise estimates regarding the risks and benefits of other anti-VEGF therapies were available, especially when the difference in costs could be billions of dollars over just a few years. Thus, there is a clear rationale at this time to explore potential anti-VEGF alternatives to ranibizumab that might prove to be as or more efficacious, might deliver equally lasting or longer-lasting treatment effects, and cost substantially less. Of the potentially available alternative anti-VEGF agents for this trial, bevacizumab and aflibercept are the best candidates for a direct comparison study. Bevacizumab shares the most similar molecular structure, costs far less, and is widely available. Furthermore, there is already preliminary evidence to suggest that it may be efficacious in the treatment of DME and it is already being widely used for this indication. Although aflibercept has a similar cost per unit dose to ranibizumab, it has the potential to decrease treatment burden and associated cost. If results from a comparative trial demonstrate improved efficacy or suggest similar efficacy of bevacizumab or aflibercept over ranibizumab, this information might give clinicians scientific rationale to substitute either one of these drugs for ranibizumab in the treatment of DME, and might thereby have substantial implications for public policy in terms of future estimates of health care dollars and possibly number of treatments necessary for anti-VEGF treatment of diabetic macular disease.

Because of its availability and lower cost, bevacizumab is already currently in widespread clinical use for treatment of DME despite the lack of FDA approval for this indication. Thus, a clinical trial that suggested whether bevacizumab could be used as a safe and efficacious alternative to ranibizumab could substantially impact nationwide practice patterns for treatment of DME by either validating the current use of bevacizumab or by demonstrating improved outcomes with ranibizumab or aflibercept treatment for DME.

Study Objective The primary objective of the proposed research is to compare the efficacy and safety of (1) intravitreal aflibercept, (2) intravitreal bevacizumab, and (3) intravitreal ranibizumab when given to treat central-involved DME in eyes with visual acuity of 20/32 to 20/320.

Condition Intervention Phase
Diabetic Macular Edema
Drug: 2.0 mg intravitreal aflibercept
Drug: 1.25 mg intravitreal bevacizumab
Drug: 0.3 mg intravitreal ranibizumab
Phase 3

Study Type: Interventional
Study Design: Allocation: Randomized
Endpoint Classification: Safety/Efficacy Study
Intervention Model: Parallel Assignment
Masking: Single Blind (Subject)
Primary Purpose: Treatment
Official Title: A Comparative Effectiveness Study of Intravitreal Aflibercept, Bevacizumab and Ranibizumab for Diabetic Macular Edema

Resource links provided by NLM:

Further study details as provided by Diabetic Retinopathy Clinical Research Network:

Primary Outcome Measures:
  • Change in visual acuity from baseline to one year adjusted for baseline visual acuity. [ Time Frame: Baseline to 1-year ] [ Designated as safety issue: No ]

Secondary Outcome Measures:
  • Change in Visual Acuity at Four Months [ Time Frame: Baseline to 4 months ] [ Designated as safety issue: No ]
  • Change in Visual Acuity at 2-years [ Time Frame: baseline to 2-years ] [ Designated as safety issue: No ]
  • Number of intravitreal injections given per protocol [ Time Frame: 1-year ] [ Designated as safety issue: No ]
  • Proportion of eyes with two and three line gains or losses in visual acuity [ Time Frame: 1-year ] [ Designated as safety issue: No ]
  • Change in OCT central subfield thickness and retinal volume [ Time Frame: baseline to 1-year ] [ Designated as safety issue: No ]
  • Proportion of eyes with OCT central subfield thickness of <250 µm on Stratus OCT (or spectral domain equivalent) [ Time Frame: 1-year ] [ Designated as safety issue: No ]
  • Of eyes with non-prolific diabetic retinopathy at baseline, proportion of eyes with regression of retinopathy severity level [ Time Frame: 1-year ] [ Designated as safety issue: No ]
  • Proportion receiving panretinal photocoagulation, vitrectomy, or vitreous hemorrhage [ Time Frame: 1-year ] [ Designated as safety issue: No ]
  • Change in blood pressure 2-3 days (+/- 1 day) after an injection and at 1 year [ Time Frame: 1-year ] [ Designated as safety issue: Yes ]
  • Change in albumin/creatinine ratio for microalbuminuria 2-3 days (+/- 1 day) after an injection and at 1 year [ Time Frame: 1-year ] [ Designated as safety issue: Yes ]

Enrollment: 660
Study Start Date: August 2012
Estimated Study Completion Date: September 2015
Primary Completion Date: October 2014 (Final data collection date for primary outcome measure)
Arms Assigned Interventions
Active Comparator: Ranibizumab Drug: 0.3 mg intravitreal ranibizumab
Intravitreal injection of 0.3 mg ranibizumab (Lucentis™) at baseline and up to every 4 weeks using defined retreatment criteria.
Experimental: Aflibercept Drug: 2.0 mg intravitreal aflibercept
Intravitreal injection of 2.0 mg aflibercept at baseline and up to every 4 weeks using defined retreatment criteria.
Experimental: Bevacizumab Drug: 1.25 mg intravitreal bevacizumab
Intravitreal injection of 1.25 mg bevacizumab at baseline and up to every 4 weeks using defined retreatment criteria.


Ages Eligible for Study:   18 Years and older
Genders Eligible for Study:   Both
Accepts Healthy Volunteers:   No

Inclusion Criteria:

  • Age ≥ 18 years
  • Individuals <18 years old are not being included because DME is so rare in this age group that the diagnosis of DME may be questionable.
  • Diagnosis of diabetes mellitus (type 1 or type 2)
  • Any one of the following will be considered to be sufficient evidence that diabetes is present:
  • Current regular use of insulin for the treatment of diabetes
  • Current regular use of oral anti-hyperglycemia agents for the treatment of diabetes
  • Documented diabetes by ADA and/or WHO criteria (see Procedures Manual for definitions)
  • At least one eye meets the following study eye criteria:

    • Best corrected E-ETDRS visual acuity letter score ≤ 78 (i.e., 20/32 or worse) and ≥ 24 (i.e., 20/320 or better) within eight days of randomization.
    • On clinical exam, definite retinal thickening due to diabetic macular edema involving the center of the macula.
    • Diabetic macular edema present on OCT (central subfield thickness on OCT >250 µm on Zeiss Stratus or the equivalent on spectral domain OCTs based on gender specific cutoffs), within eight days of randomization.
    • Investigator must verify accuracy of OCT scan by ensuring it is centered and of adequate quality (for Zeiss Stratus, standard deviation of center point thickness should be ≤ 10% of the center point thickness and signal strength should be ≥ 6)
    • Media clarity, pupillary dilation, and individual cooperation sufficient for adequate fundus photographs
  • Able and willing to provide informed consent.

Exclusion Criteria:

  • Significant renal disease, defined as a history of chronic renal failure requiring dialysis or kidney transplant.
  • A condition that, in the opinion of the investigator, would preclude participation in the study (e.g., unstable medical status including blood pressure, cardiovascular disease, and glycemic control).

    •Individuals in poor glycemic control who, within the last four months, initiated intensive insulin treatment (a pump or multiple daily injections) or plan to do so in the next four months should not be enrolled.

  • Participation in an investigational trial within 30 days of randomization that involved treatment with any drug that has not received regulatory approval for the indication being studied at the time of study entry.

    • Note: study participants cannot receive another investigational drug while participating in the study.

  • Known allergy to any component of the study drug.
  • Blood pressure > 180/110 (systolic above 180 OR diastolic above 110).

    • If blood pressure is brought below 180/110 by anti-hypertensive treatment, individual can become eligible.

  • Myocardial infarction, other acute cardiac event requiring hospitalization, stroke, transient ischemic attack, or treatment for acute congestive heart failure within 4 months prior to randomization.
  • Systemic anti-VEGF or pro-VEGF treatment within four months prior to randomization or anticipated use during the study.

    • These drugs cannot be used during the study.

  • For women of child-bearing potential: pregnant or lactating or intending to become pregnant within the next 24 months.
  • Women who are potential study participants should be questioned about the potential for pregnancy. Investigator judgment is used to determine when a pregnancy test is needed.
  • Individual is expecting to move out of the area of the clinical center to an area not covered by another clinical center during the first 12 months of the study.

The following exclusions apply to the study eye only (i.e., they may be present for the nonstudy eye):

  • Macular edema is considered to be due to a cause other than diabetic macular edema.
  • An eye should not be considered eligible if: (1) the macular edema is considered to be related to ocular surgery such as cataract extraction or (2) clinical exam and/or OCT suggest that vitreoretinal interface abnormalities (e.g., a taut posterior hyaloid or epiretinal membrane) are the primary cause of the macular edema.
  • An ocular condition is present such that, in the opinion of the investigator, visual acuity loss would not improve from resolution of macular edema (e.g., foveal atrophy, pigment abnormalities, dense subfoveal hard exudates, nonretinal condition).
  • An ocular condition is present (other than diabetes) that, in the opinion of the investigator, might affect macular edema or alter visual acuity during the course of the study (e.g., vein occlusion, uveitis or other ocular inflammatory disease, neovascular glaucoma, etc.).
  • Substantial cataract that, in the opinion of the investigator, is likely to be decreasing visual acuity by three lines or more (i.e., cataract would be reducing acuity to 20/40 or worse if eye was otherwise normal).
  • History of an anti-VEGF treatment for DME in the past 12 months or history of any other treatment for DME at any time in the past four months (such as focal/grid macular photocoagulation, intravitreal or peribulbar corticosteroids).
  • Enrollment will be limited to a maximum of 25% of the planned sample size with any history of anti-VEGF treatment for DME. Once this number of eyes has been enrolled, any history of anti-VEGF treatment for DME will be an exclusion criterion.
  • History of pan-retinal photocoagulation within four months prior to randomization or anticipated need for pan-retinal photocoagulation in the six months following randomization.
  • History of anti-VEGF treatment for a disease other than DME in the past 12 months.
  • History of major ocular surgery (including vitrectomy, cataract extraction, scleral buckle, any intraocular surgery, etc.) within prior four months or anticipated within the next six months following randomization.
  • History of YAG capsulotomy performed within two months prior to randomization.
  • Aphakia.
  • Exam evidence of external ocular infection, including conjunctivitis, chalazion, or significant blepharitis.
  Contacts and Locations
Choosing to participate in a study is an important personal decision. Talk with your doctor and family members or friends about deciding to join a study. To learn more about this study, you or your doctor may contact the study research staff using the Contacts provided below. For general information, see Learn About Clinical Studies.

Please refer to this study by its identifier: NCT01627249

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Sponsors and Collaborators
Diabetic Retinopathy Clinical Research Network
Genentech, Inc.
Regeneron Pharmaceuticals
Study Chair: John A Wells, MD Palmetto Retina Center
  More Information

No publications provided by Diabetic Retinopathy Clinical Research Network

Additional publications automatically indexed to this study by Identifier (NCT Number):
Responsible Party: Diabetic Retinopathy Clinical Research Network Identifier: NCT01627249     History of Changes
Other Study ID Numbers: Protocol T
Study First Received: June 21, 2012
Last Updated: December 1, 2014
Health Authority: United States: Food and Drug Administration

Keywords provided by Diabetic Retinopathy Clinical Research Network:
Diabetic Macular Edema
anti-vascular endothelial growth factor

Additional relevant MeSH terms:
Macular Edema
Eye Diseases
Macular Degeneration
Retinal Degeneration
Retinal Diseases
Angiogenesis Inhibitors
Angiogenesis Modulating Agents
Antineoplastic Agents
Growth Inhibitors
Growth Substances
Pharmacologic Actions
Physiological Effects of Drugs
Therapeutic Uses processed this record on August 31, 2015