Genentech Drug, Avastin, Improves Vision of Macular Degeneration Patients
The University of Miami's
Bascom Palmer Eye Institute, one of the worlds well-known eye medical research and treatment organizations, indicated that
Genentech's Avastin drug when administered to Wet Age-Related Macular Degeneration (AMD) patients showed an improvement of
vision in the order of two lines to three lines. The drug, which has "not" yet been approved by the FDA for vision treatment,
will have to undergo further clinical trials to determine its safety and viability as a vision treatment. The drug has however
been approved for the treatment of metastatic colorectal cancer.
Macugen, another vision
drug, however was approved by the FDA in December 2004. This drug targets the vascular endothelial growth factor (VEFG), a
protein, in order to improve the patients vision. Carmen A. Puliafito, M.D., M.B.A., professor of ophthalmology, co-investigator,
and chairman of Bascom Palmer Eye Institute, indicated that anti-VEFG drugs, which includes Avastin, have the potential to
revolutionize the treatment of AMD. VEGF is believed to be responsible for the blood vessel growth and vision loss in AMD.
It was pointed out that Avastin may not be the right eye treatment solution for all patients, but for patients that it is
suited for, vision improvement was noted to occur in just one week.