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FDA approves Lucentis for treatment of diabetic retinopathy in people with diabetic macular edema

Genentech, a member of the Roche Group, has announced that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved Lucentis (ranibizumab injection) for the treatment of (DR) in people with (). impacts nearly 750,000 Americans, about 10 percent of people with DR.

The FDA granted Lucentis Breakthrough Therapy Designation and Priority Review for this indication based on results from the RISE and RIDE Phase III clinical trials.

“While there are various options for treating diabetic macular edema, before today none were approved showing improvement in retinopathy,” said Sandra Horning, M.D., chief medical officer and head of Global Product Development. “With today’s approval, people with diabetic macular edema now have a FDA-approved medicine that showed meaningful improvements in retinal damage from diabetes, in addition to the established improvement in vision.”

Almost 29 million Americans have diabetes.2 The longer people have diabetes, especially if it is poorly managed, the higher their risk for developing DR. It is caused by elevated blood sugar levels damaging the fine blood vessels of the retina, the light-sensitive tissue at the back of the eye necessary for good vision.

DR with DME is a common diabetic eye disease and a leading cause of blindness in American adults under 55.1 DR with DME can lead to conditions that threaten vision.

The FDA designates Breakthrough Therapy to a medicine if it is intended to treat a serious or life-threatening disease and if preliminary clinical research suggests it may provide substantial improvement on clinically significant endpoints over existing therapies.

The FDA grants Priority Review to medicines that, if approved, would have the potential to provide significant improvements in the safety or effectiveness of the treatment, diagnosis, or prevention of serious conditions when compared to standard applications.

In 2012, Lucentis was the first medicine approved by the FDA for the treatment of DME. Lucentis has also been an important option for patients with wet age-related macular degeneration (wet AMD) since 2006 and macular edema following retinal vein occlusion (RVO) since 2010.

About RISE and RIDE

RISE and RIDE are two identically-designed, parallel, double-masked, sham treatment-controlled trials in 759 patients with DR and DME at baseline who were randomized into three groups to receive monthly treatment with 0.3 mg Lucentis, 0.5 mg Lucentis or sham injection. The primary outcome in RISE and RIDE was visual acuity gain at 24 months for DME patients.