Lucentis Approved to Treat Diabetic Retinopathy
April 15, 2017 – The U.S. FDA approved a new indication for Lucentis® (ranibizumab) manufactured by Genentech. Lucentis had been approved to treat diabetic retinopathy in patients who also have diabetic macular edema (DME). Now, Lucentis can be used for all diabetic retinopathy patients, which according to the American Academy of Ophthalmology this is approximately 4 million Americans over the age of 40. It also is approved to treat wet age-related macular degeneration, macular degeneration due to obstructed retinal veins and myopic choroidal neovascularization (mCNV). Lucentis is a monoclonal antibody that is injected into the vitreous humor (jellylike filling of the eyeballs) by ophthalmologists who are specifically trained in its use. By blocking VEGF receptors, it lessens new blood vessel formation and helps to keep blood from seeping out of leaky vessels. For diabetic retinopathy patients, injections are given at one-month intervals.
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