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Ophthotech to reduce workforce after failed phase 3 trial

Ophthotech Corp. intends to reduce its workforce by 125 to 135 employees to focus on an updated business plan.

The business plan involves an expected workforce of 20 to 30 employees. The company plans to substantially complete the reduction in personnel during the first and second quarters of 2017 as part of implementing its updated business plan.

The company's board committed to this course of action after Novartis AG and Ophthotech's joint phase 3 clinical trial missed its primary endpoint. The combination therapy of anti-platelet-derived growth factor drug Fovista with Lucentis, an anti-vascular endothelial growth factor drug, did not achieve its primary endpoint of change in visual acuity at 12 months for the treatment of wet age-related macular degeneration, a cause of vision loss.

Ophthotech plans to stop treating patients in the second 12 months of both its phase three clinical trials involving Fovista administered in combination with Lucentis for the treatment of wet age-related macular degeneration. Its phase three clinical trial for Fovista administered in combination with Eylea or Avastin, compared to Eylea or Avastin monotherapy, for the treatment of the disease is fully enrolled and remains ongoing.

In addition, the company plans to stop treating patients in its additional clinical trials evaluating the potential additional benefits of Fovista administered in combination with anti-vascular endothelial growth factor drugs in wet age-related macular degeneration patients.