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Novartis AG's Drug Lucentis Approved In EU As First Effective Anti-VEGF Treatment For Myopic Choroidal Neovascularization

Friday, 5 Jul 2013 01:17am EDT 

The European Commission announced that it has granted Novartis AG a new indication for Lucentis(R) (ranibizumab) to treat patients with visual impairment due to choroidal neovascularization (CNV) secondary to pathologic myopia (myopic CNV). This makes Lucentis, specifically designed for the eye and proven to save sight, the first anti-VEGF therapy licensed for four indications in the European Union. Pathologic myopia often affects working-age adults and is a major cause of vision loss worldwide, with 1-3% of the general population 1,2. CNV is the most common vision-threatening complication of high myopia 3. In patients with untreated myopic CNV the long-term prognosis is poor with approximately 90% of affected patients developing severe vision loss after five years. The resulting visual loss from myopic CNV which usually affects people younger than 50 years old has a profound effect on productivity, financial status, career expectations, and quality of life in working-age individuals. According to the European label, treatment of myopic CNV starts with a single injection. Any further injections are based on an individualized regimen. Retreatment is based on vision and anatomical changes, and monitoring is required monthly for the first two months and then at least quarterly up to one year; in the second year monitoring is at the discretion of the treating physician.