One of the Canadian patients in the international trials studying Lucentis in DME was Kash Joshi of Toronto. Diagnosed with diabetes in 1994, several years ago he started having troubles with blurry vision, which continued even after cataract surgery, at which point he enrolled in the Lucentis study. "I noticed an improvement after the first injection, and it's kept on getting better," he said. "I had given up reading, except for short times with a magnifying glass. Now my eyesight is almost 20/20 and I read and do everything else without a problem. The difference is like night and day."

"The approval of Lucentis to treat vision loss from DME is an important step forward in alleviating the burden of adult vision loss in Canada," said Sharon Colle, President and CEO of The Foundation Fighting Blindness, based in Toronto. "As an organization dedicated to research and finding a cure for retinal diseases, it's encouraging to see this very positive development. We hope persons with DME will quickly get access to Lucentis through provincial drug plans."

Lucentis was specifically developed as a treatment for visual impairment due to its effect on a protein that plays a critical role in the leakage of blood vessels in the retina of diabetic patients. Macular edema is a swelling of the macula from leaking of fluid from blood vessels, resulting in blurred vision. In the clinical trial RESTORE, Lucentis has been shown to significantly improve vision compared to laser therapy, the current standard of care.