European Society of Cataract and Refractive Surgeons Meeting

European Society of Cataract and Refractive Surgeons Meeting

September 16, 2014
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Robust market predicted for dry eye products

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LONDON — In 2020, the global dry eye therapeutics market is forecast to be worth $5.47 billion and significantly more competitive than it is today, a speaker said here.

Considering the current dearth of treatment options and improved diagnostic methods, there is still room for pipeline therapies, according to Stephanie Watson, FRANZCO, PhD, of the Save Sight Institute in Sydney, Australia.

Stephanie Watson

Stephanie Watson

Despite lower prevalence of dry eye in the U.S. than in some other countries, the dry eye market makes up approximately 63% of the U.S. ophthalmic market, according to Watson.

Speaking at the EuCornea Congress, Watson said that in the last 10 years for dry eye, 14 companies have failed to secure U.S. Food and Drug Administration approval for their products, even though many have received approval in Europe and Asia. The roadblock in the U.S. is primarily caused by difficulties in performing dry eye trials, she said.

Trials are difficult to perform because dry eye is a range of conditions with different symptoms, and signs and symptoms do not always correlate. Patients can have a variety of systemic diseases, such that the population to be treated is heterogeneous.

“This has led to a focus of drug companies to cut their development costs by looking at repurposing existing drugs,” Watson said.

Because inflammation has been discovered to be a key component of dry eye, there are a significant number of anti-inflammatory products in the dry eye pipeline, including steroidals, nonsteroidals and other anti-inflammatory drugs,

Watson said.

Other drugs in the pipeline include mucin secretagogues, artificial tears and antibiotics.

Disclosure: Watson is co-inventor of a dry eye patent.