According to a story from prnewswire.com, the biopharmaceutical company Dompé recently announced that the company has received the 2019 Industry Innovation Award from the National Organization of Rare Disorders (NORD). The company received the award for the development of the pioneering drug Oxervate, which is the first FDA approved treatment for neurotrophic keratitis, and rare eye disease. Oxervate was first approved in this indication in August of 2018.
Neurotrophic keratitis is a progressive disease that affects the cornea, the transparent surface that covers the front of the eye. The condition appears as the result of damage to the trigeminal nerve. Risk factors for neurotrophic keratitis include congenital eye abnormalities, chemical burns or physical injury to the cornea, chronic use of contact lenses, and prior neurosurgery or corneal surgery. Systemic diseases such as diabetes, leprosy, or multiple sclerosis can also increase risk. Symptoms often do not appear until months after disease onset. These symptoms can include corneal scarring and swelling, surface discomfort, and blurred vision that worsens over time. Treatment for neurotrophic keratitis varies depending on severity. Treatment may include artificial tears, topical antibiotics, amniotic membrane graft, and certain surgical procedures. Oxervate is the only known therapy that can reverse corneal damage. To learn more about neurotrophic keratitis, click here.
The development of Oxervate highlights a classic example of an all new therapy that counteracts the root mechanism of neurotrophic keratitis in order to alleviate symptoms and address a previously unmet medical need. Oxervate is a recombinant type of human nerve growth factor (NGF) which promotes the healing and sensitivity of the cornea. Oxervate is currently in development as a potential treatment for other eye conditions as well, such as glaucoma and retinitis pigmentosa.
Clinical trial data highlights the effectiveness of Oxervate in addressing neurotrophic keratitis. In one trial, 72 percent of patients saw complete corneal healing after eight weeks. Another saw 65 percent of patients get healed after eight weeks. Long term follow up found that 80 percent of patients who were healed during the study remained so after a year.
This award seems wholly suitable for Dompé’s innovative new therapy that will change the lives of neurotrophic keratitis patients everywhere.