A blood vessel growth-blocking drug approved by the FDA in June 2006 for treatment of wet AMD.
Lucentis® is a drug approved by the FDA in June 2006 for treatment of wet AMD. In wet AMD, there is misdirected generation of vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) protein in the retina that causes choroid blood vessels to grow into the retina and become leaky, forming blood pockets in the retina. Lucentis®, an anti-VEGF drug, is actually a fragment of an antibody that binds to and blocks the parts of VEGF protein that promote vessel growth and leakiness, thereby reducing blood pockets. Approximately 95 percent of people treated with 0.5 milligrams of Lucentis® (in the MARINA clinical trial) lost only 1-2 lines (less than 15 letters) on a visual acuity chart one year after treatment. Up to 40 percent of treated individuals experienced three lines of improvement in visual acuity (15 letters) one year after treatment. On average, individuals treated with Lucentis® experienced an improvement of approximately 7 letters at two years compared to a loss of 15 letters in individuals who did not receive Lucentis®. Visit Genentech's website for more information about this drug and the clinical trials.