A dry eye disease specialist provides her perspective on why there is an unmet need for better treatments for this common condition, and how novel products in one company’s pipeline address the shortcomings of existing options.
In the 2007 Report of the International Dry Eye Work Shop (DEWS), inflammation was included in the definition of dry eye for the first time. A decade later, an updated definition from the Tear Film and Ocular Surface Society DEWS II went a step further in citing an etiological role for inflammation.
Success in the treatment of dry eye disease (DED) may require a shift away from thinking that inflammation is its sole core mechanism, said Debra A. Schaumberg, ScD, OD, MPH.
Rather than focusing on anti-inflammatory medications as a strategy for managing DED, treatment methods could provide more options for managing the diverse group of people in the large dry eye patient population.
“The two drug entities approved for treating DED—cyclosporine and lifitegrast—both target T-cell mediated inflammation, and other novel anti-inflammatory agents are in development,” said Dr. Schaumberg, adjunct professor of ophthalmology and visual sciences, Moran Eye Center, University of Utah, Salt Lake City. “The fact that a subset of patients rapidly drop off these anti-inflammatory treatments suggests these agents are not effective for many patients.”
Debra A. Schaumberg, ScD, OD, MPH
E: [email protected]
Dr. Schaumberg is a consultant to Novaliq and other companies that market or are developing products for treatment of dry eye disease.