Lucentis (ranibizumab) can now be prescribed to treat visual impairment due to macular oedema secondary to retinal vein occlusion. The VEGF-targeting antibody fragment was previously licensed for neovascular (wet) age-related macular degeneration and visual impairment due to diabetic macular oedema.
The randomised, double-blind and studies tested ranibizumab in patients with visual impairment due to macular oedema secondary to branch RVO (n=397) and central RVO (n=392), respectively. Participants received either ranibizumab for 12 months or sham injections for 6 months followed by ranibizumab for the next 6 months. Mean increase in visual acuity at 6 months was significantly greater in the ranibizumab-only group than the sham/ranibizumab group in both studies (p<0.0001).
Overall, 60.3% of ranibizumab patients in BRAVO and 50.8% of those in CRUISE experienced a gain of 15 or more letters by 12 months, compared with 43.9% and 33.1%, respectively of sham/ranibizumab patients.
Dosing for the new indication is the same as for diabetic macular oedema: 0.5mg by monthly intravitreal injection.
Further Information: Novartis Phamaceuticals