FDA Approves First Drug for Rare Eye Disease Neurotrophic Keratitis
August 23, 2018
Rare Daily Staff
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration today approved Dompé’s Oxervate for the treatment of neurotrophic keratitis, a rare disease affecting the cornea.
“While the prevalence of neurotrophic keratitis is low, the impact of this serious condition on an individual patient can be devastating,” said Wiley Chambers, M.D., an ophthalmologist in the FDA’s Center for Drug Evaluation and Research. “In the past, it has often been necessary to turn to surgical interventions; these treatments are usually only palliative in this disease. Today’s approval provides a novel topical treatment and a major advance that offers complete corneal healing for many of these patients.”
Neurotrophic keratitis is a degenerative disease resulting from a loss of corneal sensation. The loss of corneal sensation impairs corneal health causing progressive damage to the top layer of the cornea, including corneal thinning, ulceration, and perforation in severe cases. The prevalence of neurotrophic keratitis has been estimated to be less than five in 10,000 individuals.
The safety and efficacy of Oxervate, a topical eye drop containing cenegermin, was studied in a total of 151 patients with neurotrophic keratitis in two, eight-week, randomized controlled multi-center, double-masked studies. Across both studies, complete corneal healing in eight weeks was demonstrated in 70 percent of patients treated with Oxervate compared to 28 percent of patients treated without cenegermin (the active ingredient in Oxervate).
The most common adverse reactions in patients taking Oxervate are eye pain, ocular hyperemia (enlarged blood vessels in the white of the eyes), eye inflammation and increased lacrimation (watery eyes).
Oxervate was granted Priority Review designation, under which the FDA’s goal is to act on an application within six months of application filing where the agency determines that the drug, if approved, would provide a significant improvement in the safety or effectiveness of the treatment, diagnosis or prevention of a serious condition. Oxervate also received Orphan Drug designation, which provides incentives to assist and encourage the development of drugs for rare diseases.
August 23, 2018
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