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EYLEA new drug for treating diabetic maculopathy meets study targets

EYLEA is a new drug treatment for Diabetic Macular Oedema (DMO) that has met its primary endpoints in the final phase of clinical testing (phase III).
The medication is being developed by Bayer Healthcare who plan to apply for marketing approval for use of the drug in Europe by the end of the year.
Diabetic Macular Oedema is a diabetic complication in which damaged blood vessels on the retina leak fluid onto the macula, the part of the eye responsible for our central vision. Build-up of fluid on the macula can lead to difficulty seeing and can cause blindness.
EYLEA is a drug treatment, taken by injection into the eye, which inhibits the growth of new, blood vessels and therefore limits the leaking of blood vessels. The phase trial showed that patients taking 2 milligrams (mg) of EYLEA had increased ability to read letters on eye charts.
To date, the drug has been approved for use in the UK for treating a similar condition, wet age related macular degeneration (wAMD).
EYLEA is a type of medication known as anti-VEGF treatments. To date, only one anti-VEGF drug has been licensed for use in treating Diabetic Macular Oedema, that is the medication Lucentis that is made by Novartis.
Anti-VEGF drugs have been expensive and therefore limited to use in patients with diabetes that have not had success from laser photocoagulation treatment. People with diabetes will hope that the new treatment, if granted approval, will be followed by improved access to the treatment.

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