Jetrea (ocriplasmin), for the treatment of symptomatic vitreomacular traction and associated macular hole, is now available in a formulation that does not require reconstitution prior to injection.
Additionally, rather than being supplied frozen, the new formulation known as Jetrea RTU (ready-to-use), is delivered into a standard clinic fridge.
Jetrea is a proven effective non-surgical repair for vitreomacular traction and macular holes
First launched in 2015, Jetrea is an enzymatic agent that was developed to pharmacologically treat vitreomacular traction, which occurs due to incomplete or abnormal detachment of the posterior vitreous, over time. Patients who experience an incomplete or abnormal vitreous detachment experience distorted, blurred or decreased vision and potentially a defect in central vision. As the disease progresses, the vitreous may pull the macula away from the retina, eventually resulting in a macular hole.
Jetrea works by separating the vitreous from the macula and helping to close the macular hole, if one is present, which may decrease symptoms caused by VMT.
In selected patients, Jetrea can avoid the need for vitreoretinal surgery, a relatively invasive procedure which can result in traumatic injury to the eye with potential retinal injury and post-operative cataracts. There is also a small risk of endophthalmitis.1
Vitreoretinal surgeon Associate Professor Andrew Chang, has welcomed the news that a more convenient formulation of Jetrea will be made available.
“Jetrea is a proven effective non-surgical repair for vitreomacular traction and macular holes. In selected patients, about half will have successful release of the vitreous from the macula” he said.
“However, the original formulation was not convenient and was often not available because it needed freezer storage and required reconstitution before injection. Now it will be much more accessible to ophthalmologists, similar to other intravitreal injections such as anti-VEGF drugs.”
Associate Professor Chang added that because the new formulation requires less handling and does not require reconstitution, it could potentially be safer.
Although Jetrea is considered a relatively safe procedure, 70% of patients treated experienced side effects, though most were transient and minor. The most commonly reported reactions (≥ 5%) in patients treated with ocriplasmin were vitreous floaters, conjunctival hemorrhage, eye pain, photopsia, blurred vision, macular hole, reduced visual acuity, visual impairment, and retinal edema.
The new Jetrea 0.375 mg/0.3 mL solution for injection replaces Jetrea 0.5 mg/0.2 mL concentrate solution for injection. Rather than being transported in dry ice, Jetrea is now transported at -20 degrees, for fridge storage in ‘phase change materials’ which absorb and release large amounts of thermal energy while melting and freezing.
- Wan, R, Hong, T, Chang, A. Pharmacotherapy of Vitreomacular Traction. Current Pharmacological Design, 2018, 24, 4874-4881