Roche's Lucentis Works to Treat Vision Loss from Diabetes

Roche Holding AG (ROG)’s Lucentis works to treat a leading cause of blindness associated with diabetes, U.S. regulators said. The injection improved vision in people with diabetic macular edema, Food and Drug Administration staff said in a report today ahead of a July 26 meeting of agency advisers on expanding approval of Lucentis. The drug is already used to treat wet age-related macular degeneration. Both diseases involve swelling of the macula, in the center of the retina. Lucentis, if approved, would be the first drug cleared for diabetic macular edema. More than 500,000 people in the U.S. have the disease, Anthony Adamis, vice president and global head of ophthalmology at Roche’s Genentech unit said in a telephone interview. Patients now receive laser therapy. Regeneron Pharmaceuticals Inc. (REGN), based in Tarrytown, New York, is studying its Eylea to treat the condition.

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