FDA Panel Approves Diabetes-Related Eye Drug
A Food and Drug Administration panel has recommended that a drug already on the market be used to treat in a diabetes-related eye illness.
The drug, ranibizumab (Lucentis), would be injected monthly to treat diabetes-related macular edema, or swelling of the eye. It’s already approved to treat other eye diseases: age-related macular degeneration and retinal vein occlusion, a condition in which the eye swells because of hardening of the arteries.
There are no drugs on the market to treat diabetic-related macular edema. Until now, the condition has been treated via a laser procedure, but that has been largely ineffective. It destroys retinal tissue and decreases color perception.
The panel, whose recommendation must now be approved by the FDA, OK’d the administration of two amount of the drug. The lower dose improved vision in 38.6 percent of patients, while the figure of the higher dose was 50 percent.
Among the group of diabetic patients tested by FDA investigators, there were incidents of heart attacks, kidney failure and pneumonia.