We are focused on the development of a next-generation drug to benefit the millions of people suffering from dry eye disease and other inflammatory diseases of the eye. Our immediate goal is to overcome the limitations of current dry eye treatments with the development of a first-in-class drug that combines both anti-inflammatory and pain reducing activity.
Innovative Approach for Inflammatory Eye Diseases
- Approximately 5 million people suffer from ocular pain every year.
- Neuropathic corneal pain, a severe, chronic, and debilitating disease for which there are no approved commercial treatments currently available.
- Current treatments are limited to short term NSAIDs, steroids, and opioids in severe cases. Side effects and the risk of addiction to opioids is a serious concern.
- The Global ocular pain market is expected to reach $0.5 Billion by 2030.
- Topical administration of OKYO’s lead drug candidate OK-101 was effective in suppressing corneal pain in a ciliary nerve ligation mouse model of neuropathic corneal pain; exhibiting a potency similar to that of gabapentin, a commonly used oral drug for neuropathic pain that was conversely given by intraperitoneal injection.
- The pain-relieving potential of a dry eye drug would provide an important benefit to the considerable number of dry eye patients suffering from ocular pain in addition to the existing inflammatory effects of the condition.
- Allergic conjunctivitis, often called ‘pink eye’ is an inflammation of conjunctiva, caused by an allergic reaction to pollen, mold, smoke, dust etc.
- Up to 40% of the global population suffers from allergic conjunctivitis, which is mostly treated with antihistamines and corticosteroids (2018 annual revenue in US was > $1 Billion). Notably, a significant number of patients do not respond to antihistamines which typically leads to overuse of corticosteroids in these patients.
- In an animal model, OKYO’s lead drug candidate OK-101 was effective in suppressing ocular inflammation by downregulating key inflammatory CD4+ T cells. Additional studies are ongoing to determine the efficacy of OK-101 in diminishing ocular redness, the most common symptom of allergic conjunctivitis.
- Uveitis is the third leading cause of blindness worldwide. The most common type of uveitis is an inflammation of the iris called iritis (anterior uveitis). Uveitis can damage vital eye tissue, leading to permanent vision loss.
- Uveitis is currently treated with corticosteroid eyedrops and injections that reduce inflammation, (2018 annual revenue in US was > $500M). However, the long-term use of corticosteroids causes risk of cataract and glaucoma, requiring close monitoring for their potential side effects.
- In an animal model, our lead drug candidate OK-101 was effective in suppressing ocular inflammation by downregulating key inflammatory biomarkers CD4+ T cells.
- Our focus is to suppress the inflammation and pain associated with the uveitis using our lead drug candidate OK-101.
- Worldwide, ~700 million patients suffer from dry eye disease. In US, ~30 million patients suffer from dry eye disease.
- Dry Eye affects over 35% of the population aged 50+, with women representing approximately two-thirds of those affected.
- Prevalence of dry eye is expected to increase substantially due to an aging population and increased use of contact lenses and digital screen time.
- Several side effects and modest efficacy of currently available drugs demand new therapies to treat dry eye disease.