BV4 Portfolio Company NeoVista, Inc. Announces Initial VIDION® Shipments
Hospital in Pisa, Italy is First in World to Receive Revolutionary Epimacular Brachytherapy System
Fremont, CA and Pisa, Italy- October 29, 2009- NeoVista, Inc. announced today that the first VIDION ANV Therapy System for epimacular brachytherapy has been sold and shipped. Unlike anti-VEGF therapy, which requires frequent costly eye injections for an indefinite period of time, NeoVista's novel therapy delivers a one-time dose of radiation via a very commonly used surgical procedure called ‘vitrectomy'. NeoVista's epimacular brachytherapy has been shown to be safe and effective in preliminary clinical trials and may offer a cost effective solution to the current treatment burden posed by continuous injections of anti-VEGF therapy.
Dr. Stanislao Rizzo, a world-renowned retinal surgeon from S. Chiara Hospital, Azienda Ospedaliero Universitaria Pisana,Pisa, Italy, said, "We are very excited to be the first hospital to receive this innovative one time treatment procedure, which can help to treat a devastating disease that otherwise requires chronic treatment for an indefinite period of time. NeoVista's targeted epimacular brachytherapy treatment may provide us the ability to improve vision by offering a distinct mechanism of action to conventional anti-VEGF therapy that affects multiple disease pathways, and may dramatically change the patients' quality of life by eliminating frequent eye injections. This promising treatment could very well be a cost-effective alternative to treating neovascular AMD," continued Dr. Rizzo. "Monthly injections can become quite expensive for our health care system, whereas a single procedure will potentially allow our specialists to treat more patients and bring down the costs associated with ongoing treatments while still providing satisfactory outcomes."
Unlike previous radiation therapies for wet AMD, NeoVista's innovative device delivers the peak dose of strontium-90 beta ionizing radiation directly to the lesion minimizing exposure to the surrounding tissue. The minimally invasive procedure utilizes a device similar in size to a needle, to deliver a highly targeted dose of beta radiation directly to the area of the retina affected by wet AMD. Importantly for patients, the systemic radiation exposure is minimal, as the effective dose to the entire body from NeoVista's epimacular brachytherapy device is comparable to a routine chest x-ray.
"This is a pivotal milestone for NeoVista, as the impact of VIDION's launch will greatly benefit patients, physicians, caregivers, and health care systems world-wide," stated John N. Hendrick, President and CEO of NeoVista. "We are looking forward to bringing the VIDION ANV Therapy System to millions of European patients with wet AMD who are seeking a more cost-efficient option that we expect will be as effective, if not better, than the current standard of care."
About Wet AMD
Wet AMD occurs when abnormal blood vessels behind the retina start to grow under the macula, where they leak blood and fluid, causing scar tissue to form and vision to become impaired. With wet AMD, vision loss may occur faster and be more noticeable than with dry AMD. The longer the abnormal vessels leak or grow, the more detail vision will be lost. The earlier wet AMD is diagnosed, the better the patients' chance of preserving some or much of their central vision.
About NeoVista, Inc.
NeoVista, Inc. is a privately held medical device company based in Fremont, California. NeoVista's epimacular brachytherapy procedure is currently being studied in a definitive Phase III clinical study to support eventual filing for regulatory approval to market the product in the United States. For more information about the company or this novel wet AMD therapy, please visit the company's Web site at www.neovistainc.com.