July 18, 2005

Genentech says drug improves vision after 1 year

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Genentech Inc. on Monday said the
average patient with age-related macular degeneration who
received its experimental drug Lucentis could read an
additional seven letters of a reading chart, compared with a
vision loss of 10.5 letters among those who received sham

The favorable difference, amounting to about 17 letters,
was seen in a one year-trial, whose results were presented by
researchers at a medical meeting in Montreal.

Genentech has said that U.S. regulators would likely
require its drug to show a difference -- in favor of Lucentis
-- of 15 letters. Each line on a reading chart consists of five
letters, so a 15-letter difference is equivalent to the
difference in reading three lines of a reading chart.