Researchers test drug treatment for Acanthamoeba keratitis

UK researchers have investigated the potential of polihexanide for the sight-threatening condition

A white container lies on its side on a blue background, with different types of medication spilling from the container

Writing in Ophthalmology, researchers from UCL Institute of Ophthalmology and Moorfields Eye Hospital NHS Foundation Trust have highlighted the potential of polihexanide 0.08% for the treatment of Acanthamoeba keratitis (AK).

A study involving 127 patients with AK in England, Italy and Poland compared treatment with polihexanide 0.08% to a combination treatment of polyhexanide 0.02% and propamidine.

Researchers found that both treatments were effective when administered using a detailed drug delivery protocol, with 87% of patients avoiding the need for surgery.

The researchers highlighted that polihexanide 0.08% has advantages over a combination treatment, because its simplicity reduces the risk of errors in practice.

“We hope that our new robust findings with polihexanide 0.08% will be a game changer for AK treatment, by improving access and the consistency of treatment, addressing currently unmet patient needs,” Professor John Dart, of UCL Institute of Ophthalmology and Moorfields Eye Hospital, highlighted.

The trials were sponsored by the Italian pharmaceutical company SIFI, with partial funding from the European Commission.

SIFI is now seeking regulatory approval for polihexanide 0.08% in Europe, the UK and the US.