Safety of Intravitreal Injection of Stivant, a Biosimilar to Bevacizumab, in Rabbit Eyes


Purpose: To evaluate the safety of intravitreal injection of Stivant, a biosimilar to bevacizumab, in rabbits using electrophysiological and histological analysis.

Methods: Both eyes of 41 New Zealand albino rabbits were injected with 0.1 mL (2.5 mg) of Stivant. The rabbits were scheduled to be sacrificed 1, 2, 7, 14, and 28 days after injection for histopathological evaluations. Clinical examinations and electroretinography (ERG) were performed at baseline and just before sacrificing the rabbits. Fourteen separate rabbits received a reference drug (Avastin) and were considered as the control group. Furthermore, three other rabbits received the same volume of saline (saline control group). Rabbits of both control groups were sacrificed four weeks after injection. ERG was performed 1, 2, 7, 14, and 28 days after injections.

Results: No significant difference was observed in a- and b-wave amplitudes and latency after intravitreal Stivant injection between baseline and different time points. Moreover, there was no statistically significant difference in wave amplitudes and latency between the Stivant and control groups. The histology of rabbit eyes of the Stivant and control groups after intravitreal injections was not distinguishable.

Conclusion: The biosimilar Stivant, up to a dose of 2.5 mg, did not appear to be toxic to the retina in albino rabbits. These results suggest that this drug could be a safe and inexpensive alternative to intravitreal bevacizumab. The efficacy of these injections was not investigated in this study and needs to be evaluated in future studies.


Biosimilar, Intravitreal Injection, Safety, Stivant

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