Novartis is seeking to expand the list of uses for Lucentis in Europe and Japan on the back of strong clinical data demonstrating its potential to improve vision in patients with a certain eye condition. 

The Swiss drug giant announced yesterday that data from the REPAIR study showed that an average of three Lucentis (ranibizumab) injections improved visual acuity in patients with myopic choroidal neovascularization (CNV).

Findings of the one-year study, which assessed the efficacy and safety profile of 0.5mg Lucentis given on an individualised basis in 65 patients with myopic CNV, showed that after six months of treatment and an average three injections mean visual acuity improved by twelve letters. 

In addition, 29% of patients required no further treatment beyond the first injection, the firm noted.

Consequently, Novartis said it will seek permission from regulators in Europe and Japan by the end of the year to market Lucentis for this condition, expanding on its already approved uses for wet age-related macular degeneration, visual impairment due to diabetic macular oedema, and visual impairment due to macular edema secondary to retinal vein occlusion.

Sales of Lucentis booked by Novartis leapt 20% to $604 million for the second quarter of 2012.