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Statement from the American Academy of Ophthalmology Regarding the Results of the Comparison of AMD Treatment Trials

04/28/2011   09:45:00 AM

SAN FRANCISCO—Results of the Comparison of age-related macular degeneration (AMD) Treatment Trials (CATT), a study comparing bevacizumab (Avastin™) and ranibizumab (Lucentis™) in the treatment of neovascular or "wet" AMD, were released today by the National Eye Institute of the National Institutes of Health and will be published in the New England Journal of Medicine. Data indicate that when administered similarly for AMD, the two drugs have equivalent effects on visual acuity. In the study, both provided beneficial outcomes to patients with between 25% and 34% of affected eyes improving substantially and more than 90% of affected eyes avoiding any further loss of vision.

AMD is the leading cause of blindness in the United States, affecting more than 2 million Americans age 50 and older. With the aging baby boomer population, diagnosis of this disease is expected to double by 2020.

"We applaud the study leadership, particularly Dan Martin, MD, of the Cleveland Clinic, for designing and conducting with impeccable integrity a very complex clinical investigation," noted William Rich, MD, director of health policy for the American Academy of Ophthalmology (Academy). "The Academy is proud to have worked closely with Dr. Martin and his team, the National Eye Institute and the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) to help lay the foundation for the CATT and for further comparative effectiveness research."

The data garnered from the study will ultimately help ophthalmologists provide the most appropriate and effective AMD treatment options for their patients. However, it is important for ophthalmologists and the patients they treat to fully understand the potential benefits and risks associated with each of these treatments, as individual outcomes may vary.

"The initial results of the CATT study affirm the position of the American Academy of Ophthalmology that both Lucentis and Avastin should be available for the treatment of AMD," said David W. Parke II, MD, CEO of the Academy. "The ophthalmic community is fortunate to have these two highly effective drugs for treating this devastating condition. The treatment plan must be selected by the ophthalmologist and the patient, taking into account a host of complex factors. This important study provides critical information that further empowers ophthalmologists to make evidenced-based decisions and select the treatment option that provides the best care for their patients."

About the American Academy of Ophthalmology
The American Academy of Ophthalmology is the world's largest association of eye physicians and surgeons—Eye M.D.s—with more than 29,000 members worldwide. Eye health care is provided by the three "O's" – opticians, optometrists and ophthalmologists. It is the ophthalmologist, or Eye M.D., who can treat it all: eye diseases and injuries, and perform eye surgery. To find an Eye M.D. in your area, visit the Academy's Web site at www.aao.org.

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