For the first time, the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved a drug for the treatment of neurotrophic keratitis, a degenerative disease that results from the loss of corneal sensation.
The approved medication is Oxervate, a topical eye drop containing cenegermin.
The safety and effectiveness of the drug was studied in 151 patients with neurotrophic keratitis in two eight week trials.
Across both studies, complete corneal healing in eight weeks was demonstrated in 70% of patients treated with Oxervate compared to 28 percent of patients treated without the active ingredient of Oxervate.
The most common adverse reactions observed during the trial were watery eyes, enlarged blood vessels in the white of the eyes and eye inflammation.
The prevalence of neurotrophic keratitis has been estimated to be fewer than five cases in 10,000 individuals.