A groundbreaking study has identified the first new treatment for people with diabetic eye disease in the last 25 years. The study, a Phase II clinical trial, showed that the drug Lucentis combined with laser therapy, the current standard treatment for eye disease in people with diabetes, is more effective than laser treatment alone.
The two-year study compared Lucentis plus laser therapy to laser therapy alone for people with diabetic macular edema (DME), a major complication of diabetes that can result in vision loss. Half of the people treated with the Lucentis therapy showed improvement in their vision – results that were about twice as good as laser treatment alone.
The progress is a product of JDRF research investments over many years. JDRF has worked with Johns Hopkins and the drug company Genentech, which licenses Lucentis, to test the drug’s effectiveness in stopping and reversing macular edema. These results show it is a huge improvement over any other treatment now available.
The study was conducted by The National Eye Institute of the National Institutes of Health and the Diabetic Retinopathy Clinical Research Network (DRCR.net). The results were reported in the journal Ophthalmology.