The press release seems simple enough: “The National Eye Institute of the National Institutes of Health will fund a new multicenter clinical trial to compare 2 drugs currently used to treat advanced age-related macular degeneration (AMD).” But its ramifications are enormous.
The drugs in question are ranibizumab (Lucentis) and bevacizumab (Avastin), both manufactured by Genentech Inc, of South San Francisco. Currently, only ranibizumab is approved by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for treating neovascular AMD. And it works well, with more than 90% of patients reporting a halt in vision loss and about 30% reporting improved sight.
Mitka M. Study Aims to Clarify Efficacy, Safety of Eye Drug Treatments. JAMA. 2007;297(14):1538-1539. doi:10.1001/jama.297.14.1538