Genentech's Lucentis helps prevent vision loss due to diabetic macular edema, a phase three clinical trial sponsored by the National Eye Institute found. The trial, which included 691 patients or 854 eyes (as not everyone had both eyes treated), found that 3 to 4 percent of Lucentis-treated eyes had visual loss after the one year while 13 percent of those treated with lasers did, reports the New York Times. Lucentis is already approved for macular degeneration, and is similar to another Genentech drug, Avastin, which is approved for treating cancer and is more commonly prescribed off-label. Avastin, the Times notes, costs $20 to $100 a dose while Lucentis rings up at $2,000. However, the trial included Lucentis rather than Avastin since Roche (which now owns Genentech) said it would supply the drug for free as well as provide $9 million in financing for the trial if it were conducted on Lucentis.
A Positive Trial
Apr 28, 2010