Pegaptanib earns praise as 'product of the year'

September 1, 2005

New York—Pegaptanib sodium injection (Macugen) has won recognition as a major scientific breakthrough from an organization accustomed to novel pharmaceutical products. The drug, the first FDA-approved treatment for wet age-related macular degeneration (AMD), was named Innovative Pharmaceutical Product of the Year at the 2005 Pharmaceutical Achievement Awards.

New York-Pegaptanib sodium injection (Macugen) has won recognition as a major scientific breakthrough from an organization accustomed to novel pharmaceutical products. The drug, the first FDA-approved treatment for wet age-related macular degeneration (AMD), was named Innovative Pharmaceutical Product of the Year at the 2005 Pharmaceutical Achievement Awards.

Pegaptanib sodium injection, developed by Eyetech Pharmaceuticals and Pfizer Inc., is the first in a new class of drugs called aptamers, which are chemically synthesized DNA or RNA molecules that function like antibodies and bind to specific molecular targets. In this case, the drug inhibits vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF), an underlying cause of wet AMD.

The program, which recognized pharmaceutical and biotechnology industry accomplishments in the areas of science, business, and corporate generosity, also praised Judah Folkman, MD, with a lifetime achievement award. Dr. Folkman, the Julia Andrus Dyckman Professor of Pediatric Surgery at Children's Hospital in Boston and Harvard Medical School, founded the field of angiogenesis research that led to the application of VEGF inhibitors to treat wet AMD.