Novartis eye drug efficient over longer term: studies

ZURICH Thu May 10, 2012 2:00am EDT

People walk past the logo of Swiss drugmaker Novartis at the company's plant in Basel January 28, 2009. REUTERS/Arnd Wiegmann

People walk past the logo of Swiss drugmaker Novartis at the company's plant in Basel January 28, 2009.

Credit: Reuters/Arnd Wiegmann

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ZURICH (Reuters) - Swiss drugmaker Novartis said on Thursday data from key studies showed treatment with its Lucentis drug could help certain sight-impaired patients see better over an extended period and that individualized treatment improved results.

Lucentis, with annualized sales for Novartis of $2 billion, is licensed for wet age-related macular degeneration (AMD).

The company said research on the drug in over 200 abstracts presented at an annual meeting of eye specialists this week showed a low number of injections with the drug could achieve and maintain better sight in AMD and diabetic macular edema (DME) patients over a three-year time frame.

"Several studies presented at ARVO (Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology) demonstrate how successful an individualized Lucentis treatment approach can be for patients with wet AMD and DME," said Novartis head of development Tim Wright in a statement.

(Reporting by Martin de Sa'Pinto; Editing by Mike Nesbit)

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