Efficacy and safety of monthly versus quarterly ranibizumab treatment in neovascular age-related macular degeneration: The EXCITE study

Ursula Schmidt-Erfurth, Bora Eldem, Robyn Guymer, Jean Franois Korobelnik, Reinier O. Schlingemann, Ruth Axer-Siegel, Peter Wiedemann, Christian Simader, Margarita Gekkieva, Andreas Weichselberger

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Objective To demonstrate noninferiority of a quarterly treatment regimen to a monthly regimen of ranibizumab in patients with subfoveal choroidal neovascularization (CNV) secondary to age-related macular degeneration (AMD). Design A 12-month, multicenter, randomized, double-masked, active-controlled, phase IIIb study. Participants Patients with primary or recurrent subfoveal CNV secondary to AMD (353 patients), with predominantly classic, minimally classic, or occult (no classic component) lesions. Intervention Patients were randomized (1:1:1) to 0.3 mg quarterly, 0.5 mg quarterly, or 0.3 mg monthly doses of ranibizumab. Treatment comprised of a loading phase (3 consecutive monthly injections) followed by a 9-month maintenance phase (either monthly or quarterly injection). Main Outcome Measures Mean change in best-corrected visual acuity (BCVA) and central retinal thickness (CRT) from baseline to month 12 and the incidence of adverse events (AEs). Results In the per-protocol population (293 patients), BCVA, measured by Early Treatment Diabetic Retinopathy Study-like charts, increased from baseline to month 12 by 4.9, 3.8, and 8.3 letters in the 0.3 mg quarterly (104 patients), 0.5 mg quarterly (88 patients), and 0.3 mg monthly (101 patients) dosing groups, respectively. Similar results were observed in the intent-to-treat (ITT) population (353 patients). The mean decrease in CRT from baseline to month 12 in the ITT population was -96.0 μm in 0.3 mg quarterly, -105.6 μm in 0.5 mg quarterly, and -105.3 μm in 0.3 mg monthly group. The most frequent ocular AEs were conjunctival hemorrhage (17.6%, pooled quarterly groups; 10.4%, monthly group) and eye pain (15.1%, pooled quarterly groups; 20.9%, monthly group). There were 9 ocular serious AEs and 3 deaths; 1 death was suspected to be study related (cerebral hemorrhage; 0.5 mg quarterly group). The incidences of key arteriothromboembolic events were low. Conclusions After 3 initial monthly ranibizumab injections, both monthly (0.3 mg) and quarterly (0.3 mg/0.5 mg) ranibizumab treatments maintained BCVA in patients with CNV secondary to AMD. At month 12, BCVA gain in the monthly regimen was higher than that of the quarterly regimens. The noninferiority of a quarterly regimen was not achieved with reference to 5.0 letters. The safety profile was similar to that reported in prior ranibizumab studies. Financial Disclosure(s) Proprietary or commercial disclosure may be found after the references.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)831-839
Number of pages9
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 2011
Externally publishedYes


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