Halting DME progression prevents vision loss

October 15, 2004

Munich, Germany-The key to minimizing vision loss associated with diabetic macular edema (DME) is to develop a treatment to prevent the edema from reaching the center of the macula, according to analyses of a study by Eli Lilly and Co.

Munich, Germany-The key to minimizing vision loss associated with diabetic macular edema (DME) is to develop a treatment to prevent the edema from reaching the center of the macula, according to analyses of a study by Eli Lilly and Co.

The study, which was presented at the 40th Annual Meeting of the European Association for the Study of Diabetes, suggests that patients have a higher risk of vision loss when DME progresses to the center of the macula.

The study involved 939 patients with various levels of DME in two trials for Lilly's ruboxistaurin, which is being investigated as a treatment for diabetic retinopathy and other diabetic microvascular complications. It is not approved anywhere in the world.

The closer the DME got to the center of the macula, the more likely it was to involve the center eventually and impair vision, the study shows.

"These findings bring us one step closer to understanding where the window of opportunity is to minimize the impact of diabetic macular edema," said Pawel Fludzinski, PhD, team leader for Lilly's ruboxistaurin effort. "It is critical that we continue to seek improved treatments and encourage screenings and early detection to help improve outcomes for the 150 million people living with diabetes."