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Results for Wet Age-Related Macular Degeneration Show Significant Vision Improvements

Research conducted by retina surgeons at The Methodist Hospital shows unprecedented improvements in vision in more than one-third of patients treated with Lucentis? for wet// age-related macular degeneration (AMD), according to findings published today in the New England Journal of Medicine. AMD is a major cause of central visual loss and is one of the leading causes of blindness in people over 60.

Dr. David M. Brown, retinal surgeon with Vitreoretinal Consultants at The Methodist Hospital, is lead author on the ANCHOR study and a secondary author on the MARINA study. Brown enrolled more patients than any other site worldwide in the studies, which contributed to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s June approval of Lucentis for the treatment of patients with wet AMD.

“Lucentis therapy is the most significant advance in the treatment of macular degeneration in the history of the disease,” said Brown. “The ANCHOR study compared the previous treatment for macular degeneration (photodynamic therapy) with Lucentis in the most aggressive form of the disease. While 60 percent of the eyes treated with photodynamic therapy were legally blind at the end of the first year of study, patients who received Lucentis treatment were able to avoid legal blindness in seven out of eight cases. Seven percent of the Lucentis-treated patients improved to 20/20 vision at the one year endpoint. It truly made a remarkable difference in many of these patient’s lives enabling them to maintain driving and keep their independence.”

Data from the two randomized, controlled pivotal Phase III clinical trials of Lucentis (ranibizumab injection) shows that at one year, 95 percent of patients treated with Lucentis did not lose vision. Of these patients, 55 percent maintained their vision (defined as a loss of less than 15 letters in visual acuity) and up to 40 percent experienced an improvement of three lines (15 letters) or more on the study eye chart. In the MA
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