- Associated Press - Friday, January 7, 2011

GENEVA (AP) - Swiss pharmaceutical company Novartis AG says it has received approval from European regulators to market a new drug to treat vision problems resulting from diabetes.

Novartis says Lucentis is the first drug to be licensed for treatment of vision loss due to diabetic macular edema.

The Basel-based company says half of patients saw their vision significantly improve during two clinical trials.

Lucentis is already licensed for other conditions including wet acute macular degeneration.

Novartis says diabetic macular edema is a leading cause of blindness in most developed countries in the working-age population.

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