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Agents in the pipeline for dry eye disease


Marguerite McDonald, MD: We’re going to talk about some of the agents that are in phase 3 clinical trials. There’s quite a lineup of amazing things coming our way. Let’s start with Crystal. Do you want to run through BRM421 and RGN-259?

Crystal Brimer, OD, FAAO: Yes, it rolls off the tip if your tongue, doesn’t it? The BRM421, this is a synthetic peptide that’s derived from pigment epithelium factor.

It’s going to aid in corneal repair, but it’s also going to stimulate...production. With the RGN-259, there is a long list of its potential benefits. I don’t want to miss any of them, so I’m reading them to you. It promotes corneal healing by reducing inflammation, promotes cell migration, angiogenesis, and stem cell recruitment, protecting cells from cytotoxicity, reducing apoptosis, accelerating collagen and upregulation production of laminin-5, and reduces scar formation. We’re especially excited about that one.

Marguerite McDonald, MD: Absolutely. Eric, why don’t you tell us about the next 2 in the pipeline?

Eric Donnenfeld, MD: Varenicline is a highly selective nicotinic acetylcholine receptor agonist being developed as a preservative-free nasal spray. It basically is sprayed into the nose, and it creates a reflex that produces tear production in a very significant way. It activates the lacrimal glands to produce tears, and it reduces the signs and symptoms of dry eye. The FDA trials are extremely promising for this new drug that activates the trigeminal parasympathetic pathway to stimulate natural tear production.

And then SkQ1 is a cardiolipin peroxidation inhibitor that acts on the mitochondria to reduce oxidative stress and neutralizes mitochondrial reactive oxygen species. This again is going through the FDA pipeline at the present time.

Marguerite McDonald, MD, Eric Donnenfeld, MD, Tracy Swartz, OD, MS, FAAO, and Crystal Brimer, OD, FAAO, discuss a number of topics pertaining to dry eye, including the diagnosis and clinical manifestations, traditional, treatment options, and the potential new agents in the horizon.

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