Lucentis effective in treating RVO, studies find

NEW YORK Patients receiving an investigational drug for internal swelling of the eye due to blocked veins experienced better results than those receiving placebo, results of two late-stage clinical trials show.

Biotech company Genentech announced results of the phase 3 trials of Lucentis (ranibizumab) in patients with the swelling, known medically as macular edema due to retinal vein occlusion, also known as RVO. The company presented results from both trials at the Retina Congress 2009 meeting in New York Sunday.

“RVO can lead to sudden loss of vision for which there are few treatment options,” Genentech EVP global development and chief medical officer Hal Barron said in a statement. “As early as seven days after their first injection, patients who received monthly injections of Lucentis had, on average, a statistically significant improvement in their vision that lasted through six months.”