Private Service, Ophthalmology
In wet age-related macular degeneration (AMD), abnormal blood vessels grow under the retina and leak blood and fluid. This causes rapid damage to the macula, the portion of the eye responsible for fine, detailed central vision.
Lucentis (ranibizumab) is a drug that closes down these blood vessels by inhibiting VEGF-A, a protein that is believed to play a critical role in the formation of new blood vessels. In clinical trials on patients with wet AMD, it was found to prevent further visual loss in 90 - 95% of patients. Up to a third of patients in the trials also experienced an increase in their vision following treatment – something not seen before in the treatment of AMD. In addition, Lucentis has been shown to be effective in improving vision in diabetic macular oedema and macular oedema resulting from retinal vein occlusions.
The medication is delivered by injection into the vitreous jelly which fills the eye. The injections need to be repeated monthly for the first 3 months, following which the frequency may be reduced, although close monitoring of the eye will still be required, and further injections are likely. More information about Lucentis is available on the following website: www.gene.com/gene/products/information/tgr/lucentis