Ranibizumab approved for DME in UK

January 19, 2011

Ranibizumab (Lucentis) is now available in the United Kingdom for the treatment of visual impairment due to diabetic macular edema, announced Novartis Pharmaceuticals UK Ltd.

Frimley, England-Ranibizumab (Lucentis) is now available in the United Kingdom for the treatment of visual impairment due to diabetic macular edema (DME), announced Novartis Pharmaceuticals UK Ltd.

It’s the first treatment licensed in 25 years for DME, one of the leading causes of visual impairment in the U.K. working population, according to the company.

Ranibizumab was developed by Genentech and Novartis. Genentech has the commercial rights for the drug in the United States, and Novartis has exclusive rights for it in the rest of the world.

“Ranibizumab has the potential to transform treatment for people with DME in the UK,” said Nicholas Beare, MA, MB ChB, FRCOphth, MD, consultant ophthalmologist, Royal Liverpool University Hospital, who led clinical research investigating the use of ranibizumab for DME. “For the last 25 years, laser therapy has been the standard treatment for DME, but it is not generally associated with visual improvement, whereas ranibizumab has been shown to produce a rapid and sustained improvement in vision.”

The safety profile of ranibizumab in DME is comparable with that seen in previous studies for age-related macular degeneration, according to Novartis.