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May 17, 2017

Emmes’ COO Recognized for Eye Disease Research

The Emmes Corporation today announced that Dr. Paul VanVeldhuisen, chief operating officer and principal investigator, co‐authored a study published by the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA). The study focused on the efficacy and safety of a commonly used, off‐label drug called Avastin in treating macular edema due to central retinal vein occlusion. The study also addressed how Avastin compared to another drug, Eylea, which has been approved by the FDA and is being used to treat the same disease.

The 2‐1/2‐year study with nearly 400 patients concluded that Avastin was as effective as Eylea in improving vision after six months of treatment. The cost of Avastin is $60 per dose compared to Eylea’s $1,850 per dose.

Macular edema resulting from central retinal vein occlusion is the second most common retinal vascular disease and can cause vision loss. An estimated 16 million adults worldwide are affected by retinal vein occlusion.

The research was sponsored by the National Eye Institute, part of the National Institutes of Health. The Study of Comparative Treatments for Retinal Vein Occlusion 2 (SCORE2) was presented at the Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology conference in Baltimore, Maryland, on May 9, 2017.

According to Dr. VanVeldhuisen, this was the first large‐scale study ever conducted to evaluate the comparative effectiveness of these two drugs in patients with central retinal vein occlusion.

“I’d like to acknowledge the leadership of Drs. Ingrid Scott, Michael Ip and Barbara Blodi, who led the team in this important research,” he said. “It’s been an honor to work closely with these outstanding researchers.”

Dr. Anne Lindblad, president and chief executive officer of Emmes, noted, “We have a long history with the National Eye Institute and are proud of our contributions to ophthalmic research. We look forward to continuing to lead clinical trials that contribute to new, better and less expensive treatment options.”

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