Genentech vision-loss drug gets FDA approval
Biotech receives green light for potential blockbuster Lucentis.
By Aaron Smith, staff writer

NEW YORK ( -- The FDA approved Genentech's drug for age-related vision loss, a potential blockbuster that would treat the leading cause of blindness in older people.

Genentech's (up $1.27 to $81.40, Charts) stock climbed nearly 4 percent as the drug, Lucentis, got the green light from the Food and Drug Administration on Friday.


Lucentis is a treatment for a type of vision loss called wet age-related macular degeneration. Rahul Jasuja, analyst for MDB Capital Group, has projected that the drug, which is injected into the eye once a month, could reach $1 billion in annual sales within three years.

Genentech, the second-biggest biotech in the world, is based in South San Francisco and had $5.5 billion in 2005 sales. The company's top product is Rituxan, a treatment for non-Hodgkin's lymphoma and rheumatoid arthritis, with $1.8 billion in 2005 sales.

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