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Roche’s investigational drug improves vision in patients with RVO

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BASEL, Switzerland Patients with vision loss due to a disease that causes swelling of the retina experienced improvements when treated with an investigational biotech drug from Roche, the Swiss drug maker said Thursday.

The company announced results of a phase 3 trial showing that Lucentis (ranibizumab) improved vision in patients with central retinal vein occlusion, also known as RVO. Central RVO blocks blood flow through the retinal vein and often causes vision loss.

Results of the study, as well as results of a phase 3 trial of patients with branch RVO will be presented at the Retina Congress, which takes place between Sept. 30 and Oct. 4 in New York.

“We are excited that two pivotal studies have shown early and sustained improvement in vision for RVO patients treated monthly with Lucentis,” Roche Pharmaceuticals Division CEO William Burns said in a statement.

Based on the data, Roche plans to file for approval with the Food and Drug Administration for Lucentis as a treatment for RVO. The drug is already approved to treat wet age-related macular degeneration.

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