Accession Number

Pegaptanib is a polynucleotide aptamer. Pegatinib aids neovascular age-related macular degeneration by binding to VEGF which in order reduces angiogenesis and vessel permeability.

Approved, Investigational
Biologic Classification
Nucleic Acid Based Therapies
  • EYE 001
  • NX 1838
  • NX1838
  • Pegaptanib Octasodium
  • Pegaptanib sodium



For the treatment of neovascular (wet) age-related macular degeneration.

Associated Conditions
Contraindications & Blackbox Warnings
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Pegaptanib is a selective vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) antagonist. VEGF is a secreted protein that selectively binds and activates its receptors located primarily on the surface of vascular endothelial cells. VEGF induces angiogenesis, and increases vascular permeability and inflammation, all of which are thought to contribute to the progression of the neovascular (wet) form of age-related macular degeneration (AMD), a leading cause of blindness. VEGF has been implicated in blood retinal barrier breakdown and pathological ocular neovascularization.

Mechanism of action

Pegaptanib sodium is a pegylated aptamer, a modified oligonucleotide, which adopts a three- dimensional conformation that enables it to bind to extracellular VEGF with high affinity and selectivity. Pegaptanib sodium binds to the major pathological VEGF isoform, extracellular VEGF165, with high affinity (Kd = 200 pM) and specificity, thereby inhibiting VEGF165 binding to its VEGF receptors. In contrast virtually no binding of the non-pegylated aptamer to VEGF121 or the VEGF -related proteins VEGF-B, VEGF-C and placental growth factor (PlGF) was detected using invitro filter binding assays. Pegaptanib sodium does not bind significantly to VEGF121. In animal models, VEGF164 (the rodent counterpart of human VEGF165) was specifically upregulated in disease. The selective inhibition of VEGF164 with pegaptanib sodium proved as effective at suppressing pathological neovascularization as pan-VEGF inhibition7, however pegaptanib sodium spared the normal vasculature whereas pan-VEGF inhibition did not.

UNeuropilin-1Not AvailableHumans

In animals, pegaptanib is slowly absorbed into the systemic circulation from the eye after intravitreous administration.

Volume of distribution

It is distributed into vitreous fluid, retina, aqueous fluid, and kidneys. As well, it has been shown to cross the placenta in mice but whether or not it crosses the placenta in humans is unknown.

Protein binding
Not Available

Based on preclinical data, pegaptanib is metabolized by endo- and exonucleases.

Route of elimination

It is excreted primarily in urine as unchanged drug and also as metabolites. There is no dosage adjustment required for patients with renal impairment although it must be noted that not many studies have looked at patients with a creatinine clearance of 30mL/min.


In humans, after a 3 mg monocular dose (10 times the recommended dose), the average (± standard deviation) apparent plasma half-life of pegaptanib is 10 (± 4) days.

Not Available
Adverse Effects
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It is not known if pegaptanib is safe in pregnant women or if it is excreted in breast milk. Likewise, no studies have been done in the pediatric population. Most adverse events elated to the drug are ocular however non-ocular adverse events related to the drug or the injection procedure also occurred, among which headaches and rhinorrhoea appeared in more than 1% of patients. Pegaptanib is contraindicated when the patient has an ocular or periocular infection.

Affected organisms
  • Humans and other mammals
Not Available
Pharmacogenomic Effects/ADRs
Not Available


Drug Interactions
This information should not be interpreted without the help of a healthcare provider. If you believe you are experiencing an interaction, contact a healthcare provider immediately. The absence of an interaction does not necessarily mean no interactions exist.
AbacavirAbacavir may decrease the excretion rate of Pegaptanib which could result in a higher serum level.
AcarboseAcarbose may decrease the excretion rate of Pegaptanib which could result in a higher serum level.
AceclofenacAceclofenac may decrease the excretion rate of Pegaptanib which could result in a higher serum level.
AcemetacinAcemetacin may decrease the excretion rate of Pegaptanib which could result in a higher serum level.
AcetaminophenAcetaminophen may decrease the excretion rate of Pegaptanib which could result in a higher serum level.
AcetazolamideAcetazolamide may increase the excretion rate of Pegaptanib which could result in a lower serum level and potentially a reduction in efficacy.
Acetylsalicylic acidAcetylsalicylic acid may decrease the excretion rate of Pegaptanib which could result in a higher serum level.
AclidiniumPegaptanib may decrease the excretion rate of Aclidinium which could result in a higher serum level.
AcrivastinePegaptanib may decrease the excretion rate of Acrivastine which could result in a higher serum level.
AcyclovirAcyclovir may decrease the excretion rate of Pegaptanib which could result in a higher serum level.
Additional Data Available
  • Extended Description
    Extended Description

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  • Severity

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  • Evidence Level
    Evidence Level

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  • Action

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Food Interactions
Not Available


Brand Name Prescription Products
NameDosageStrengthRouteLabellerMarketing StartMarketing EndRegionImage
MacugenInjection, solution3.47 mg/1mLIntravitrealBauch & Lomb Incorporated2004-12-17Not applicableUS flag
MacugenInjection, solution0.3 mgIntravitrealPharma Swiss Ceska Republika S.R.O2006-01-31Not applicableEU flag
MacugenSolution0.3 mgIntravitrealPfizer Canada Ulc2005-08-262014-09-04Canada flag
Additional Data Available
  • Application Number
    Application Number

    A unique ID assigned by the FDA when a product is submitted for approval by the labeller.

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  • Product Code
    Product Code

    A governmentally-recognized ID which uniquely identifies the product within its regulatory market.

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ATC Codes
S01LA03 — Pegaptanib
Drug Categories
Not classified

Chemical Identifiers

CAS number


General References
  1. Vinores SA: Pegaptanib in the treatment of wet, age-related macular degeneration. Int J Nanomedicine. 2006;1(3):263-8. [PubMed:17717967]
  2. Wylegala E, Teper SJ: [VEGF in age-related macular degeneration. Part II. VEGF inhibitors use in age-related macular degeneration treatment]. Klin Oczna. 2007;109(1-3):97-100. [PubMed:17687925]
  3. Bakri SJ, Pulido JS, McCannel CA, Hodge DO, Diehl N, Hillemeier J: Immediate intraocular pressure changes following intravitreal injections of triamcinolone, pegaptanib, and bevacizumab. Eye (Lond). 2009 Jan;23(1):181-5. Epub 2007 Aug 10. [PubMed:17693999]
PubChem Substance
Therapeutic Targets Database
RxList Drug Page Drug Page
FDA label
Download (99.6 KB)

Clinical Trials

Clinical Trials
4CompletedOtherAge-Related Macular Degeneration (ARMD) / Diabetic Macular Edema (DME) / Retinal Vein Occlusion1
4CompletedTreatmentBranch Retinal Vein Occlusion1
4CompletedTreatmentDiabetic Macular Edema (DME)2
4CompletedTreatmentMacular Degeneration1
4RecruitingTreatmentMacular Diseases1
4TerminatedTreatmentAge Related Macular Degeneration (AMD) / Choroidal Neovascularization (CNV) / Macular Degeneration1
4TerminatedTreatmentAge-Related Macular Degeneration (ARMD)1
4TerminatedTreatmentMacular Degeneration1
4Unknown StatusTreatmentAge-Related Macular Degeneration (AMD)1
4Unknown StatusTreatmentProliferative Diabetic Retinopathy (PDR)1


Not Available
  • Eyetech Inc.
  • Gilead Sciences Inc.
  • Pfizer Inc.
Dosage Forms
Injection, solutionIntravitreal0.3 mg
Injection, solutionIntravitreal3.47 mg/1mL
SolutionIntravitreal0.3 mg
Unit descriptionCostUnit
Macugen 0.3 mg/0.09 ml1194.0USD vial
DrugBank does not sell nor buy drugs. Pricing information is supplied for informational purposes only.
Patent NumberPediatric ExtensionApprovedExpires (estimated)Region
US6147204No2000-11-142010-06-11US flag
CA2269072No2006-02-142017-10-17Canada flag
US6011020No2000-01-042017-01-04US flag
US5932462No1999-08-032016-08-03US flag
Additional Data Available
  • Filed On
    Filed On

    The date on which a patent was filed with the relevant government.

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Experimental Properties
Not Available


Pharmacological action
General Function
Vascular endothelial growth factor-activated receptor activity
Specific Function
The membrane-bound isoform 1 is a receptor involved in the development of the cardiovascular system, in angiogenesis, in the formation of certain neuronal circuits and in organogenesis outside the ...
Gene Name
Uniprot ID
Uniprot Name
Molecular Weight
103133.62 Da
  1. Vinores SA: Pegaptanib in the treatment of wet, age-related macular degeneration. Int J Nanomedicine. 2006;1(3):263-8. [PubMed:17717967]

Drug created on October 21, 2007 16:23 / Updated on June 12, 2020 10:52

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