Ranibizumab Induces Regression of Diabetic Retinopathy in Most Patients at High Risk of Progression to Proliferative Diabetic Retinopathy

Ophthalmol Retina. 2018 Oct;2(10):997-1009. doi: 10.1016/j.oret.2018.06.005. Epub 2018 Aug 1.


Purpose: To evaluate diabetic retinopathy (DR) outcomes with ranibizumab (Lucentis, Genentech, Inc., South San Francisco, CA) treatment in patients with DR and diabetic macular edema (DME) at high risk of progression to proliferative disease.

Design: Post hoc analysis of the phase 3 RIDE (ClinicalTrials.gov identifier, NCT00473382) and RISE (ClinicalTrials.gov identifier, NCT00473330) clinical trials of ranibizumab for the treatment of DME.

Participants: Seven hundred forty-six patients with baseline fundus photographs and randomized for treatment.

Methods: Diabetic retinopathy outcomes were assessed through month 36 by baseline DR severity level. Diabetic retinopathy severity was quantified using the Early Treatment Diabetic Retinopathy Study (ETDRS) Diabetic Retinopathy Severity Scale (DRSS).

Main outcome measures: Two-step or more or 3-step or more improvement or worsening on the ETDRS DRSS and time to new proliferative event (composite end point).

Results: At baseline, most patients were distributed evenly among mild or moderate nonproliferative DR (NPDR; ETDRS DRSS, 35/43), moderately severe or severe NPDR (ETDRS DRSS, 47/53), and proliferative DR (ETDRS DRSS, 60-75; 28.8%, 33.2%, and 31.1%, respectively). At month 24, rates of 2-step or more improvement with ranibizumab 0.3 mg, ranibizumab 0.5 mg, and sham treatment were highest among patients with baseline DR levels 47/53 (78.4%, 81.1%, and 11.6%, respectively) compared with patients with baseline DR levels 35/43 (10.3%, 15.8%, and 1.4%, respectively) or 60 through 75 without panretinal photocoagulation (31.0%, 36.4%, and 6.7%, respectively; all ranibizumab vs. sham comparisons, P < 0.05). In patients with baseline DR levels 47/53, ranibizumab treatment reduced the probability of patients experiencing a new proliferative event at month 36 by 3 times compared with sham treatment (12.4% and 11.9% vs. 35.2% for ranibizumab 0.3 mg, ranibizumab 0.5 mg, and sham, respectively). In patients with baseline DR levels 47/53 who achieved 2-step or more DR improvement, improvements were independent of all assessed baseline characteristics (P > 0.4).

Conclusions: Ranibizumab treatment resulted in DR improvements in all 3 baseline DR severity subsets examined. The greatest benefits in DR improvement occurred in patients with baseline moderately severe to severe NPDR (DR levels 47/53). Diabetic retinopathy improvements were rapid, clinically meaningful, and sustained through month 36.

Associated data

  • ClinicalTrials.gov/NCT00473382
  • ClinicalTrials.gov/NCT00473330