17.01.2011

New diabetic macular oedema treatment is launched

New diabetic macular oedema treatment is launched

By Adrian Galbreth

The first licensed treatment in 25 years for diabetic macular oedema (DMO) has been licensed in the UK, which may offer hope for those suffering from one of the leading causes of visual impairment in the country.

Novartis Pharmaceuticals has launched LucentisZ (ranibizumab), which is designed to help reduce or manage the effects of DMO, which often prevents people from following a normal daily routine.

Until the launch of the drug, the standard therapy for DMO was laser treatment to
stabilise vision rather than improve it, but Novartis claims ranibizumab can offer "rapid and sustained vision gains".

"The visual improvements of at least two additional lines on an eye chart could make an extraordinary difference to the person's quality of life and independence," the company states.

It comes after Roger McPherson, a consultant ophthalmologist at the University Hospital of Wales, warned that screening gaps are placing the vision of diabetes patients at risk.

by Emily Tait


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