BRUSSELS, October 31 /PRNewswire/ -- First study to investigate the protective effect of a lipid-lowering agent on diabetic eye disease to be published on-line in Lancet, Tuesday, 6th November 2007

Diabetic eye disease (called diabetic retinopathy) is the leading cause of vision loss in adults - affecting about 25 million people worldwide. It occurs when diabetes affects the blood vessels at the back of the eye damaging the retina and restricting blood flow. This destructive process occurs in about 74 per cent of people who have diabetes for 10 years or more.

Currently, the only widely used treatment for this condition is laser therapy. However, laser treatment often reduces peripheral vision as well as causing other side effects. Nor does it restore sight.

Important new results to be published in Lancet.

Now researchers in Australia, New Zealand and Finland have investigated the effects of a widely available lipid-lowering agent, fenofibrate, on the use of laser therapy in more than 9000 men and women with diabetes.

The Fenofibrate Intervention and Event Lowering in Diabetes (FIELD) Trial is the largest study of a lipid-lowering agent ever conducted in adult diabetics.

The results of an analysis of the effects of fenofibrate on diabetic retinopathy and a sub-study of its effects on the progression of diabetic retinopathy in more than 1000 patients will be published on-line in the Lancet. Here is how you can get the news as it breaks:

For a copy of the press release and details of Webcast, go and register on: on November 7th

For more information contact: Solvay pharmaceuticals contact, Neil E. Hirsch Manager, U.S. Corporate Communications, Solvay Pharmaceuticals, Inc., Mobile: +1-678-557-2952, E-mail:; Solvay pharmaceuticals B.V., Pharmacom, Puck Bossert, +31-29-44-77-469, E-mail: