Macular research in action. – MDA

Genentech targets blinding disease in new late-stage trials

  Ron Leuty    Reporter-San Francisco Business Times
Targeting a blinding disease with no known treatment, Genentech Inc. is taking an experimental drug into late-stage trials aimed at slowing progression of the disease and discovering if patients with a specific mutation will benefit more.
Each of the two trials of Genentech’s lampalizumab will enroll about 936 patients with geographic atrophy, the advanced form of age-related macular degeneration, or AMD, South San Francisco-based Genentech said Monday.
Ninety percent of people with AMD have the dry form, a slowly progressive disease that affects the macula in the center of the retina. No treatment can prevent further vision loss in AMD’s advanced form.
Another form of AMD, called wet AMD, progresses more rapidly and has several treatments, including Genentech’s Lucentis and, though it is not approved for wet AMD, Avastin. Wet AMD occurs with excessive blood vessel formation behind the retina. In all, AMD affects one in every 2,000 people, with the dry form accounting for nearly 90 percent of the cases.
“Lampalizumab has the potential to represent a significant breakthrough for this disease and could provide real hope for (geographic atrophy) patients,” Genentech Chief Medical Officer Dr. Sandra Horning said in a press release. 
Lampalizumab will be injected at 300 sites in 24 countries into the vitreous, the jelly-like substance inside….Read More:
source: San Francisco Business Times