South San Francisco, CA — March 21, 2018 — 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).
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.
5Bhagat N, Grigorian RA, Tutela A, et al. Diabetic macular edema: pathogenesis and treatment. Surv Ophthalmol. 2009;54(1):1-32.
Posted: March 2018
Lucentis (ranibizumab) FDA Approval History