Therapeutic monoclonal antibodies and fragments: Bevacizumab

Ainat Klein*, Anat Loewenstein

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Bevacizumab (Avastin) is a recombinant humanized monoclonal immunoglobulin antibody that has two antigen-binding domains and blocks all active forms of vascular endothelial growth factor-A. It was originally designed and is still in use as antitumor agent (for colorectal and non-small cell lung cancers). Besides inhibiting vessel growth and neovascularization, the drug promotes the regression of existing microvessels and induces 'normalization' of surviving mature vasculature, stabilizes vessels and prevents leakage. Its molecular weight is 149 kDa and its estimated terminal half-life is approximately 20 days for both men and women. The effectiveness and safety of bevacizumab was proven in retrospective and prospective controlled clinical trials for the treatment of neovascular age-related macular degeneration, neovascularization in proliferative diabetic retinopathy, diabetic macular edema, retinal vein occlusion and retinopathy of prematurity, especially for zone I. Uncontrolled trials have shown its effectiveness in various other conditions as myopic and uveitic choroidal neovascularization and neovascular glaucoma. There are no absolute contraindications to intravitreal injection though it is recommended to withhold treatment in patients who have recently suffered from a cardiovascular or cerebrovascular event and during pregnancy. Ocular complications from intravitreal use are usually mild and transient (corneal abrasion, chemosis, subconjunctival hemorrhage and vitreous hemorrhage). Bacterial endophthalmitis is rare (about 0.1%). New or progressive subretinal hemorrhages, tears of the retinal pigment epithelium and an increased incidence of geographic atrophy have also been reported.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)232-245
Number of pages14
JournalDevelopments in Ophthalmology
StatePublished - 2015


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