JDRF Applauds FDA''s Approval of Lucentis to Treat Diabetic Macular Edema

August 10, 2012

JDRF is pleased by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration's (FDA) announcement today that it has approved the drug Lucentis (ranibizumab injection) for the treatment of diabetic macular edema (DME)-a major complication of diabetes and a leading cause of significant vision loss and blindness in adults.

The FDA's approval of Lucentis, licensed by Genentech Inc., is an important advancement for people with DME in the United States. The drug was approved for use in DME in Europe in 2011, but in the United States, laser treatment has remained the standard of care for those with the condition. Laser treatment only slows the rate of vision loss, without reversing it.

Studies of Lucentis--funded by JDRF and the National Institutes of Health's (NIH) Special Diabetes Program (SDP)--have demonstrated the drug's safety and effectiveness in inhibiting the effects of the VEGF protein, which causes tiny blood vessels in the eye to leak fluid, leading to swelling of the retina in DME.

Between 40 and 45 percent of Americans diagnosed with diabetes have some degree of diabetic retinopathy, according to the National Eye Institute, and up to 10 percent of those with diabetes will develop DME in their lifetime. This latest development in DME care could have a significant impact on many lives, helping to lift some of the burden of complications from both type 1 and type 2 diabetes.

To read the FDA's official announcement, please click here.

About JDRF

JDRF is the leading global organization focused on type 1 diabetes (T1D) research. Driven by passionate, grassroots volunteers connected to children, adolescents, and adults with this disease, JDRF is now the largest charitable supporter of T1D research. The goal of JDRF research is to improve the lives of all people affected by T1D by accelerating progress on the most promising opportunities for curing, better treating, and preventing T1D. JDRF collaborates with a wide spectrum of partners who share this goal.

Since its founding in 1970, JDRF has awarded more than $1.6 billion to diabetes research. Past JDRF efforts have helped to significantly advance the care of people with this disease, and have expanded the critical scientific understanding of T1D. JDRF will not rest until T1D is fully conquered.

Lets turn type one into type none