'The world has changed' for patients with AMD, diabetic retinopathy

Bevasiranib sodium is the latest approach to treating AMD and, potentially, many other medical diseases.

"This year was dominated by [ranibizumab] and [bevacizumab]," said Lawrence J. Singerman, MD, president, Retina Associates of Cleveland, and a clinical professor of ophthalmology, Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine, Cleveland.

Ranibizumab

Most retina specialists rank the June 30 FDA approval and the subsequent commercial availability of intravitreal ranibizumab for neovascular AMD as the most noteworthy event in the subspecialty.

The FDA approval was based on the dramatic efficacy seen in the MARINA and ANCHOR trials of ranibizumab, Dr. Singerman said. "The efficacy of [ranibizumab] is so dramatic that the drug has dominated the treatment of AMD," he added.

And the way to use this drug to achieve the best results is slowly becoming more apparent. The third major study of ranibizumab, the PIER study, provided data toward that end when its results were presented in the spring.