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Novartis eye drug works with fewer injections than rivals

FILE PHOTO: The logo of Swiss drugmaker Novartis AG is seen at its headquarters in Basel, Switzerland, January 25, 2017.

A drug developed by Novartis to treat vision loss in people over 65 does not need to be injected as frequently as a rival medicine from Regeneron to be effective, clinical trials showed on Tuesday.

Novartis said the trials showed its RTH258 drug would reduce the injection burden for patients with neovascular age-related macular degeneration (nAMD), the leading cause of vision loss for over 65s in North America, Europe, Australia and Asia.

Novartis shares climbed 1.4 percent by 1041 GMT, outperforming the Stoxx European health care sector index, with analysts saying the trial results gave RTH258 a competitive advantage over rival treatments.

Head-to-head late-stage trials showed RTH258, whose generic name is brolucizumab, worked as well as Regeneron's Eylea, with just over half the patients needing doses every 12 weeks, rather...