Napoleone Ferrara, MD

Mar 23, 2022

Dr. Ferrara is a Professor at the University of California San Diego Medical Center and a member of The National Academy of Sciences and has received numerous prestigious awards, including the Lasker Award and the Breakthrough Prize in Life Sciences. His research on understanding the role of angiogenesis and vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) in cancer development, led to the discovery that VEGF is a key mediator of angiogenesis associated with intraocular neovascular syndromes. This pioneering research led to the clinical development of a humanized anti-VEGF Fab (Ranibizumab, Lucentis®), which has also been approved as a therapy for neovascular age-related macular degeneration (AMD), retinal vein occlusion and diabetic macular edema. Ranibizumab and other anti-VEGF agents have had a dramatic impact on the development of therapies for these blinding disorders. When Lucentis® (Ranibizumab) received FDA approval in late June 2006, the new macular degeneration drug was celebrated as a major medical breakthrough. Dr. Ferrara’s research also led to the development and approval of humanized anti-VEGF mAbs (Bevacizumab; Avastin®) for cancer treatment, with Avastin® being one of the bestselling cancer drugs over the last two decades. Lucentis® and Avastin® collectively achieved over $9 billion in sales last year.