OCS-02: THE POTENTIAL OF TOPICAL BIOLOGIC FOR OPHTHALMIC USE
What is uveitis?
Uveitis is a general term describing a group of inflammatory diseases that produces swelling and destroys eye tissues. These diseases can slightly reduce vision or lead to severe vision loss.
The term 'uveitis' is used because the diseases often affect a part of the eye called the uvea. Nevertheless, uveitis is not limited to the uvea. These diseases also affect the lens, retina, optic nerve, and vitreous, producing reduced vision or blindness.
Uveitis may be caused by problems or diseases occurring in the eye or it can be part of an inflammatory disease affecting other parts of the body.
It can happen at all ages and primarily affects people between 20 and 60 years old.
Uveitis can last for a short (acute) or a long (chronic) time. The severest forms of uveitis reoccur many times.
Eye care professionals may describe the disease more specifically as:
- Anterior uveitis
- Intermediate uveitis
- Posterior uveitis
- Panuveitis uveitis
Eye care professionals may also describe the disease as infectious or noninfectious uveitis.
How is uveitis treated?
Uveitis treatments primarily try to eliminate inflammation, alleviate pain, prevent further tissue damage, and restore any loss of vision. Treatments depend on the type of uveitis a patient displays. Some, such as using corticosteroid eye drops and injections around the eye or inside the eye, may exclusively target the eye whereas other treatments, such immunosuppressive agents taken by mouth, may be used when the disease is occurring in both eyes, particularly in the back of both eyes.
An eye care professional will usually prescribe steroidal anti-inflammatory medication that can be taken as eye drops, swallowed as a pill, injected around or into the eye, infused into the blood intravenously, or, released into the eye via a capsule that is surgically implanted inside the eye. Long-term steroid use may produce side effects such as stomach ulcers, osteoporosis (bone thinning), diabetes, cataracts, glaucoma, cardiovascular disease, weight gain, fluid retention, and Cushing’s syndrome. Usually other agents are started if it appears that patients need moderate or high doses of oral steroids for more than 3 months.
Other immunosuppressive agents that are commonly used include medications such as methotrexate, mycophenolate, azathioprine, and cyclosporine. These treatments require regular blood tests to monitor for possible side effects. In some cases, biologic response modifiers (BRM), or biologics, such as, adalimumab, infliximab, daclizumab, abatacept, and rituximab are used. These drugs target specific elements of the immune system. Some of these drugs may increase the risk of having cancer.
OCS-02 potentially the first topical anti-TNF alpha therapy for ophthalmic indications
The compound, named OCS-02, is based on a proprietary single-chain antibody fragment technology specifically designed for topical delivery. Efficacy and safety were evaluated in three clinical trials including two controlled studies under IND. The studies demonstrated a promising profile for treating inflammatory conditions of the anterior segment of the eye including Uveitis and Dry Eye Disease.