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Reading between the lines

Based on data reported last week, investors concluded that Lucentis from Genentech Inc. and Novartis AG will be the winner over Eyetech Inc.'s Macugen in the treatment of wet age-related macular degeneration (AMD). But EYET is arguing that the patient populations and protocols in the studies - and by extension the results - are not comparable.

DNA (South San Francisco, Calif.) and Novartis (NVS; SWX:NOVN, Basel, Switzerland) reported that after one year, about 95% of patients given Lucentis ranibizumab in a Phase III trial lost less than 15 ETDRS letters, or 3 lines, in visual acuity compared to about 62% in the control arm, the primary endpoint (p<0.0001).

Patients given Lucentis also significantly improved mean visual acuity, a secondary endpoint, while controls experienced a decrease.

Patients in the

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