SOUTH SAN FRANCISCO, Calif.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Genentech, a member of the Roche Group (SIX: RO, ROG; OTCQX: RHHBY), today announced that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved the Lucentis® (ranibizumab injection) 0.3 mg prefilled syringe (PFS) as a new method of administering the medicine to treat all forms of diabetic retinopathy. In April 2017, Lucentis 0.3 mg became, and remains, the first and only FDA-approved medicine to treat all forms of diabetic retinopathy in people with or without diabetic macular edema (DME), a complication of the eye disease that causes swelling in the back of the eye. Diabetic retinopathy is the leading cause of blindness among working age adults and affects nearly 7.7 million people in the U.S.1,2 The Lucentis 0.3 mg PFS is now the first syringe prefilled with an anti-vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) agent FDA-approved to treat both diabetic retinopathy and DME.
“Diabetic retinopathy is a serious condition that affects millions of people in the U.S.,” said Sandra Horning, M.D., chief medical officer and head of Global Product Development. “Today’s approval of the Lucentis 0.3 mg prefilled syringe reinforces our commitment to advancing therapy for those impacted by this vision-threatening disease.”
The Lucentis 0.3 mg PFS, which is made of borosilicate glass and is packaged in a single-use sterile, sealed tray, allows physicians to eliminate several steps in the preparation and administration process, including disinfecting the vial, attaching a filter needle, drawing the medicine from the vial using the needle, removing the filter needle from the syringe and replacing with an injection needle. With the Lucentis PFS, physicians snap off the syringe cap, attach the injection needle to the syringe and adjust the dose prior to administration.
The Lucentis 0.3 mg PFS is expected to be available in the second quarter of 2018.
The Lucentis 0.5 mg PFS, FDA-approved in October 2016, is indicated for the treatment of neovascular (wet) age-related macular degeneration (AMD), macular edema following retinal vein occlusion (RVO) and myopic choroidal neovascularization (mCNV).
About Diabetic Retinopathy and Diabetic Macular Edema
Diabetic retinopathy is the most common cause of vision loss in people with diabetes, which affects approximately 30 million people in the U.S.3 The longer a person has diabetes, especially if it is poorly controlled, the higher the risk of developing diabetic retinopathy and vision loss. Diabetic retinopathy occurs when blood vessels in the retina become damaged. This can cause vision loss or distortion when the abnormal vessels leak blood or fluid into the eye.1
Diabetic macular edema (DME), which affects approximately 750,000 people in the U.S., is one of the vision-threatening complications of diabetic retinopathy, in which chronic damage occurs to the fine blood vessels of the retina, the light-sensitive tissue at the back of the eye necessary for good vision.4,5
About Lucentis® (ranibizumab injection)
Lucentis is a vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) inhibitor designed to bind to and inhibit VEGF-A, a protein that is believed to play a critical role in the formation of new blood vessels (angiogenesis) and the hyperpermeability (leakiness) of the vessels.
Lucentis is FDA-approved for the treatment of patients with wet age-related macular degeneration (AMD), macular edema following retinal vein occlusion (RVO), diabetic macular edema (DME), diabetic retinopathy (DR) and myopic choroidal neovascularization (mCNV).
Lucentis was developed by Genentech, a member of the Roche Group. The company retains commercial rights in the U.S. and Novartis has exclusive commercial rights for the rest of the world.
Outside the U.S., Lucentis is approved in more than 110 countries to treat patients with wet AMD, for the treatment of DME, and due to macular edema secondary to both branch retinal vein occlusion (BRVO), central retinal vein occlusion (CRVO) and visual impairment due to choroidal neovascularization (CNV).
Lucentis Important Safety Information
Patients should not use Lucentis if they have an infection in or around the eye or are allergic to Lucentis or any of its ingredients.
Lucentis is a prescription medication given by injection into the eye, and it has side effects. Lucentis is not for everyone. Some Lucentis patients have had detached retinas and serious eye infections. If your eye becomes red, sensitive to light, or painful, or if you have a change in vision, call or visit your eye doctor right away.
Some patients have had increased eye pressure before and within 1 hour of an injection. Your eye doctor should check your eye pressure and eye health before and after your Lucentis injection.
Uncommonly, Lucentis patients have had serious, sometimes fatal, problems related to blood clots, such as heart attacks or strokes.
Fatal events were seen more often in patients with DME and DR with Lucentis compared with patients who did not receive Lucentis. Although there were only few fatal events which included causes of death typical of patients with advanced diabetic complications, these events may be caused by Lucentis.
Some Lucentis patients have serious side effects related to the injection. These include serious infections inside the eye, detached retinas, and cataracts. The most common eye-related side effects are increased redness in the white of the eye, eye pain, small specks in vision, and increased eye pressure. The most common non–eye-related side effects are nose and throat infections, anemia, nausea and cough.
Lucentis is for prescription use only.
Patients may report side effects to the FDA at (800) FDA-1088 or http://www.fda.gov/medwatch. Patients may also report side effects to Genentech at (888) 835-2555.
For additional safety information, please see Lucentis full Prescribing Information, available here: http://www.gene.com/download/pdf/lucentis_prescribing.pdf
About Genentech in Ophthalmology
Genentech is researching and developing new treatments for people living with a range of eye diseases that cause significant visual impairment and blindness, including neovascular age-related macular degeneration (wet AMD), diabetic macular edema (DME), diabetic retinopathy (DR), geographic atrophy (GA) and other retinal diseases. The company is also investigating platforms for sustained ocular drug delivery.
Genentech’s parent company, Roche, is investigating a bispecific antibody for the treatment of retinal eye diseases.
About Genentech Access Solutions
Access Solutions is part of Genentech’s commitment to helping people access the Genentech medicines they are prescribed, regardless of their ability to pay. The team of in-house specialists at Access Solutions is dedicated to helping people navigate the access and reimbursement process, and to providing assistance to eligible patients in the United States who are uninsured or cannot afford the out-of-pocket costs for their medicine. To date, the team has helped more than 1.4 million patients access the medicines they need. Please contact Access Solutions (866) 4ACCESS/(866) 422-2377 or visit http://www.Genentech-Access.com for more information.
Founded more than 40 years ago, Genentech is a leading biotechnology company that discovers, develops, manufactures and commercializes medicines to treat patients with serious and life-threatening medical conditions. The company, a member of the Roche Group, has headquarters in South San Francisco, California. For additional information about the company, please visit http://www.gene.com.
1 U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Common Eye Disorders: Diabetic Retinopathy. Available at https://www.cdc.gov/visionhealth/basics/ced/index.html. Accessed February 7, 2018.
2 Prevent Blindness America. Diabetic Retinopathy. Available at http://www.visionproblemsus.org/diabetic-retinopathy/diabetic-retinopathy-definition.html. Accessed February 7, 2018.
3 American Diabetes Association. Statistics About Diabetes. Available at http://www.diabetes.org/diabetes-basics/statistics/. Accessed February 7, 2018.
4 Bressler NM, Varma R, Doan Q, et al. Underuse of the Health Care System by Persons With Diabetes Mellitus and Diabetic Macular Edema in the United States. JAMA Ophthalmology. 2014 Feb;132(2):168-73.
5 Bhagat N, Grigorian RA, Tutela A, et al. Diabetic macular edema: pathogenesis and treatment. Surv Ophthalmol. 2009;54(1):1-32.