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NeoVista Unveils 18-month Data on Novel Wet AMD Therapy at Retina Society Meeting
Date:9/29/2008

Long-Term Phase II Data Continue to Highlight Potential of NeoVista's

Epiretinal Brachytherapy

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz., Sept. 29 /PRNewswire/ -- NeoVista, Inc. made public yesterday 18-month data from the company's Phase II feasibility study examining its novel epiretinal brachytherapy for treatment of the wet form of age-related macular degeneration (AMD) at the 41st Scientific Meeting of the Retina Society. The long-term data from the study, which was initiated to test the safety and efficacy of their therapy when used in conjunction with Avastin(R) (bevacizumab), showed a marked advancement in mean visual acuity results at month 18, while only a limited number of patients required additional injections of Avastin.

"We're very delighted with the latest data from our Phase II study, as not only did the visual acuity improve in our patients over the long-term, but very few patients received additional injections as well," said John N. Hendrick, President and CEO of NeoVista. "The ultimate pledge of this therapy continues to be demonstrated as the long-term data hold promise in minimizing the treatment burden both for patients and physicians, not to mention the overall financial burden for the healthcare system."

NeoVista's revolutionary therapy applies a targeted dose of beta radiation to the leaking blood vessels that affect central vision; concomitantly, two injections of an antivascular endothelial growth factor (anti-VEGF) agent are delivered to maximize the acute therapeutic response. Preliminary data show that NeoVista's targeted radiation therapy can be safe for both the patient and the physician, and may be able to restore the patient's vision. The current standard of care for wet AMD requires persistent injections of anti-VEGF drugs for an indefinite period.

The ongoing multicenter feasibility study enrolled 34 trial participants (with a mean age of 72 years) from June 2006 to April 2007 at two centers in Brazil and one in Mexico. These patients, with predominantly classic, minimally classic, or occult (with no classic) choroidal neovascularization (CNV), received a single 24 Gy treatment of NeoVista's epiretinal brachytherapy in combination with two intravitreal injections of Avastin, one dose prior to or at the time of radiation delivery and another one month later, depending on which arm of the trial the patient was enrolled in. Additional therapy was delivered based upon the investigator's evaluation of disease activity.

Analysis of 18-month follow-up on the first 25 trial participants to reach that milestone shows a mean improvement in visual acuity of 10.7 letters using the Early Treatment Diabetic Retinopathy Study (ETDRS) test; 96 percent of patients lost 15 letters or fewer, 76 percent gained some letters, 44 percent gained 15 or more letters, and 8 percent gained 30 or more letters. Of particular interest, 68 percent of the patients in the study did not require additional injections of Avastin throughout the 18-month period and the average number of additional injections within this subset was only 2.4 injections by month 18.

Most of the limited number of adverse events were related to the vitrectomy procedure (retinal tear, retinal detachment, subretinal hemorrhage, and vitreous hemorrhage), rather than the epiretinal brachytherapy. To date, no instances of radiation toxicity have been reported by the Doheny reading center.

The data were presented at the Retina Society Meeting by Nelson R. Sabates, MD, Professor and Chairman, Department of Ophthalmology, University of Missouri-Kansas City (UMKC) School of Medicine and the lead investigator in NeoVista's ongoing Phase III study, CABERNET (CNV Secondary to AMD Treated with BEta RadiatioN Epiretinal Therapy).

"The data released demonstrate that NeoVista's concomitant approach has the potential to offer patients a less frequent treatment option that is just as effective, if not more effective, than the current standard of care," said Dr. Sabates. "It's highly encouraging to continually see patient outcomes improving as the study progresses."

In contrast to other forms of radiation therapy for wet AMD, NeoVista's approach delivers the peak dose of energy directly to the lesion without damaging the normal retinal vasculature. Utilizing strontium 90, the focused energy is delivered to a target area up to 3 mm in depth and up to 5.4 mm in diameter. Importantly for patients, the systemic exposure to radiation is minimal, as the effective dose to the entire body from NeoVista's epiretinal device is less than that from a typical chest x-ray.

With the continued promise of these Phase II trial results, NeoVista continues to enroll patients in the company's pivotal trial, CABERNET. CABERNET is a multicenter, randomized, controlled study that will enroll 450 subjects at 45 sites worldwide, evaluating the safety and efficacy of NeoVista's epiretinal brachytherapy delivered concomitantly with the FDA-approved anti-VEGF therapy Lucentis(R) (ranibizumab) versus Lucentis alone.

"The Royal National Institute of Blind People (RNIB) welcomes the results of the Phase II study for NeoVista's therapy, which may increase the treatment options for people with wet AMD," said Barbara McLaughlan, RNIB Campaigns Manager for Eye Health and Social Care. "It is our hope that these results are confirmed in the Phase III trial that is now being conducted as wet AMD is the leading cause of sight loss in the UK and patients need a variety of choices of proven treatments to be available in the National Health Service so they can choose the therapy that's best for them."

About NeoVista, Inc.

NeoVista, Inc. is a privately held development-stage medical device company based in Fremont, California. NeoVista's epiretinal beta radiation therapy 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, the clinical trial or this novel wet AMD therapy, please visit the company's Web site at http://www.neovistainc.com.

Contact: Tony Moses

O: 510-933-7600

C: 510-402-3394

tmoses@neovistainc.com


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SOURCE NeoVista, Inc.
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