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Lucentis improves vision among diabetes patients in trial

SOUTH SAN FRANCISCO, Calif. — Genentech, a subsidiary of Roche, reported that its eye drug helped improve vision in patients suffering from a complication caused by diabetes.

In its phase-3 RISE study, Genentech said diabetic macular edema patients that received monthly Lucentis (ranibizumab injection) achieved an improvement in vision at 24 months, compared with placebo.

The RISE study is one of two late-stage clinical trials that Genentech is conducting on Lucentis. The drug maker said it hopes that with results from the RISE study and the second phase-3 trial, RIDE, Lucentis can be approved for a new indication by the Food and Drug Administration.

DME is a serious complication of diabetes that affects up to 10% of people with the disease and can lead to blurred vision, severe vision loss and blindness, the drug maker said. “DME is a leading cause of blindness among working-aged adults in most developed countries, and currently there are no FDA-approved medicines to treat patients who suffer from this debilitating condition,” said Hal Barron, Genentech chief medical officer and head of global product development. “We are encouraged by these data and await the results of RIDE, our other pivotal study in DME.”

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