Lucentis approved for visual impairment due to retinal vein occlusion

Ranibizumab is derived from the same antibody as the cancer drug bevacizumab (Avastin).
Ranibizumab is derived from the same antibody as the cancer drug bevacizumab (Avastin).

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.

View Lucentis drug record

Further Information: Novartis Phamaceuticals

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