Novartis said today that it received Chinese regulatory approval for its eye drug Lucentis, and it is launching the diabetes treatment Galvus in China.
Lucentis treats wet age-related macular degeneration. The disease affects the macula, the part of the eye that allows people to see fine detail. The disease can cause blindness and severe vision loss, and Novartis estimates that there are more than 300,000 new cases of it every year in China.
The drugmaker also said it is launching Galvus, an oral diabetes treatment, approved to be used in China as an addition to type 2 diabetes treatment metformin.
Type 2 is the most common form of diabetes, where the body either does not produce enough insulin or does not use it efficiently, allowing excess sugar, or glucose, to accumulate in the blood.
Novartis said as many as 75 million people have uncontrolled type 2 diabetes in China, and the number of people with diabetes has quadrupled in recent years.