Vabysmo® (faricimab)

What is Vabysmo® (faricimab)?

Vabysmo® (faricimab) is approved to treat people with wet age-related macular degeneration (AMD) who have previously responded to at least 2 injections of an endothelial growth factor (VEGF) inhibitor into the eye.1-3

In people with wet AMD, Vabysmo is first given in 4 monthly injections. Based on outcomes, people will then receive their following Vabysmo injections every 2, 3, or 4 months. The current standard of care for wet AMD requires injections every 1 to 2 months.1-3

Vabysmo is the first bispecific antibody to be approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for use in the eye. Unlike other treatments for wet AMD that target only the VEGF pathway, Vabysmo targets 2 different pathways to treat symptoms of wet AMD.1,2

Vabysmo is also approved to treat diabetic macular edema.1-3

What is anti-VEGF therapy?

In healthy people, the VEGF protein promotes the growth of new vessels. In people with wet AMD, there is too much VEGF in the eye. This leads to an abnormal growth of weak, leaky vessels that affect vision.4,5

Anti-VEGF therapy delivers substances to the eye that can block and reduce the production of VEGF and its effects. This can slow the progression of wet AMD.1-3

What are the ingredients in Vabysmo?

The active ingredient in Vabysmo is faricimab.3

How does Vabysmo work?

A doctor injects Vabysmo into the eye near the retina. The injection places Vabysmo into the space in the back of the eye called the vitreous cavity. This is called an intravitreal injection.3,6

Vabysmo is a bispecific antibody. This means it does doubles duty by targeting 2 different kinds of antigens. Antigens are substances that your immune system recognizes.1,2,7,8

Vabysmo targets 2 different factors involved in blood vessel growth (angiogenesis). One factor is VEGF-A. This is a growth factor that promotes the growth and spread of blood vessels. The other factor is called angioprotein-2 (Ang2). When VEGF is not present, Ang2 prevents new blood vessels from growing and spreading.1-3,9

By stabilizing blood vessels in the eye, Vabysmo reduces inflammation and slows or stops vision loss.1,9

What are the possible side effects of Vabysmo?

The most common side effect of Vabysmo is bursting of small blood vessels just beneath the clear suface of the eye (conjunctival hemorrhage).3

Vabysmo may also cause:3

  • Inflammation of tissues and fluids in the eye (endophthalmitis), usually caused by an infection
  • Retinal detachment
  • Temporary increased pressure behind the eye (intraocular pressure)
  • Blood clots in arteries

These are not all the possible side effects of Vabysmo. Talk to your doctor about what to expect when taking Vabysmo. You also should call your doctor if you have any changes that concern you when taking Vabysmo.

Things to know about Vabysmo

Vabysmo should not be used if you have:3

  • An eye infection
  • Inflammation of the conjunctiva (the clear membrane on the surface of the eye and the inner eyelid)
  • An overreactive immune system

There is not enough data to know if Vabysmo is safe to take while pregnant or breastfeeding. If you can become pregnant, you should use birth control during treatment and for some time after the last dose of Vabysmo. Talk to your doctor about your options for birth control and breastfeeding while taking Vabysmo.3

As with all therapeutic proteins, there is a risk for an immune response to Vabysmo. During this response, the body's immune system makes anti-drug antibodies that make the drug less effective or ineffective. This is known as immunogenicity.3

Before beginning treatment for macular degeneration, tell your doctor about all your health conditions and any other drugs, vitamins, or supplements you are taking. This includes over-the-counter drugs.

For more information, read the full prescribing information of Vabysmo.

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Written by: T. DeLene Beeland | Last reviewed: March 2022