Monday, January 23, 2006

Genentech's new vision drug showing promise

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Article Last Updated: 1/21/2006 08:00 AM

New vision drug showing promise

By Reporter Staff

Genentech announced encouraging results in its clinical trials of the drug Lucentis, being tested on patients with wet age-related macular degeneration, or AMD.

After one year of its second Phase III study, the company found that Lucentis maintained or improved the vision of approximately 95 percent of patients.
'Lucentis is the first investigational therapy that has shown improved vision, not just a slowing of vision loss, in patients with all types of wet AMD,' said Peter K. Kaiser, the director of the Clinical Research Center at The Cleveland Clinic Cole Eye Institute, who presented the data at a medical symposium in New York last week.

'As a result,' he said, 'physicians may be one step closer to being able to set a new expectation for the future treatment of this condition.

AMD - which occurs in two forms, dry and wet - is the leading cause of blindness for people over the age of 60. The National Eye Institute estimates that there are 1.6 million people with AMD in the United States and that is expected to grow to 2.95 million by the year 2020.

Genentech is a leading biotechnology company that discovers, develops, manufactures and commercializes biotherapeutics for significant unmet medical needs. "

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