Purpose: To identify the genetic variants of the vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) pathway genes and other genes associated with neovascular age-related macular degeneration (nAMD) as possible predictive biomarkers of a favorable treatment response to aflibercept. Design: A 52-week (with extension phase: 104-week), prospective, open-label, single-arm, multicenter, phase IV trial was conducted in Spain. Participants: Patients with nAMD were enrolled. Methods: Aflibercept was administered every 8 weeks until week 48 (after 1-monthly loading doses over 3 months). After week 48, the interval between visits for aflibercept administration was extended by 2 weeks per visit to a maximum of 12 weeks if no evidence of disease activity was observed. A total of 338 SNPs in 90 genes associated with nAMD were analyzed. Main Outcome Measures: Efficacy was evaluated mainly with best-corrected visual acuity (BCVA), and adverse events (AEs) were reported. Treatment efficacy was defined as an increase in BCVA ≥15 letters versus the baseline visit. Univariate and multivariate logistic regressions were used to associate single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) and treatment efficacy. Results: 194 nonconsecutive patients were enrolled, 170 completed the 52-week follow-up, and of the 85 patients who started the extension phase, 77 completed this phase. Mean BCVA increased from baseline to weeks 52 and 104 by 9 and 10 letters (p = 0.0001 for both), respectively. The percentages of patients gaining ≥15 letters in weeks 52 and 104 were 33 and 31%, respectively. Multivariate logistic regression showed significant associations of 6 SNPs (in 6 genes) with treatment efficacy: rs12366035 (VEGFB; TT; odds ratio [OR] 217), rs25681 (C5; AA/AG; OR 19.7/8.3), rs17793056 (CX3CR1; CT/CC; OR 8.1/6.2), rs1800775 (CETP; CC; OR 6.6), rs2069845 (IL6; GG/AA; OR 5.6/3.3), and rs13900 (CCL2; CT; OR 4.0). One percent of the patients reported arteriothrombolic events related to aflibercept (cerebrovascular accident) according to the Antiplatelet Trialist Collaboration, and 2% reported serious ocular (retinal pigment epithelial tear, retinal tear, and endophthalmitis) and systemic (cardiac failure, hypersensitivity, and transient ischemic attack) AEs related to aflibercept. Conclusions: Results suggest strong pharmacogenetic associations between one genetic variant of VEGFB (TT, rs12366035) and C5 (AA, rs12366035) genes and the BCVA response after 52-week aflibercept treatment in patients with nAMD. Likewise, the results support the efficacy of aflibercept observed in phase III studies and a good safety profile.

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