Post date: 
Wednesday, 9 November 2016
Iluvien implant

New research suggests patients who receive a single implant to treat diabetic eye disease can increase or sustain vision. 

The data from real-life clinical practice was revealed earlier this year at the Royal College of Ophthalmologists Annual Congress.
Results showed that the majority of chronic diabetic macular oedema (cDMO) patients who received a single Iluvien implant, administered into the vitreous cavity at the front of the eye by injection during routine clinical practice, gained or maintained vision at 12 months. The implant provides a therapeutic effect for up to 36 months. 
DMO is an inflammatory disease affecting the macula, the part of the retina responsible for central vision. The disease is the primary cause of vision loss associated with diabetic retinopathy, which in turn is the most common cause of severe sight impairment among people of working age.
In England, Iluvien is recommended by NICE as a possible treatment for people with chronic DMO who have an artificial lens in their eye if: 
  • the implant is used in the eye with the artificial lens and
  • their DMO has not improved with available treatments.

Professor Yit Yang from New Cross Hospital in Wolverhampton who chaired the discussion about the findings at the Alimera Sciences’ scientific meeting during the congress commented: “The clinical scenario of a patient with chronic DMO who has not responded to anti-vascular endothelial growth factor (anti-VEGF) treatment is unfortunately quite common in everyday practice. For the first time, we have evidence to show that patients in this situation can gain by switching to Iluvien therapy.”

The real world data was obtained from two sources: a European registry study and an audit of UK clinical practice. The Iluvien Registry Safety Study (IRISS) is a safety study that Iluvien’s manufacturer Alimera Sciences is required to perform. 
Professor Usha Chakravarthy from Queen’s University Belfast, principal investigator of the IRISS study, said: “In these real world studies, patients were switched to Iluvien when clinicians had determined that despite other treatments there was vision decline and worsening appearance of the macula.  
“Following the switch there were improvements in visual acuity and retinal morphology in the majority of patients showing that Iluvien is an important addition to our therapeutic armamentarium.”
Further information
NB News (archive)