DENVER – Allergan, which has launched 125 eye care products over 70 years, discussed its new neurostimulation device for dry eye, TrueTear, during a press conference here at Optometry’s Meeting.
About 70% of patients who walk into optometry offices complain of dry eye, and that market makes up $3.7 billion in annual revenue, Jag Dosanjh, senior vice president of eye care at Allergan, said.
For TrueTear, the company employed an open-science approach, and the technology was initially conceived of by a medical student outside of the company, he said.
TrueTear is a handheld neurostimulation device with disposable tips that is inserted into the nasal cavity to induce the production of natural tears. In two clinical trials, the device was shown to be safe and effective for temporarily increasing tear production in adult patients.
“In dry eye, no one was doing anything with the tear film,” Marc Bloomenstein, OD, FAAO, said at the event.
Allergan piloted the technology for 1.5 years, he said.
“TrueTear empowers patients and empowers physicians,” Bloomenstein said. The patient controls when they get relief, in the form of true tears. The device provides an electrical pulse, “like a tingle,” he said, not a painful buzz.
He explained that for practitioners recommending the device to their patients, vocabulary is important to explain how it works and feels.
TrueTear also uses an app that can tell a patient when to charge the handheld device and how often it has been used, which ensures prompt clinician feedback during office visits.
The app also ensures the patient is properly using the device, Bloomenstein said.
After using TrueTear, meniscus height of the tear film was found to double in the clinical trials. “These are real, physiological tears, with the adequate protein concentration,” Bloomenstein said.
The device works for nearly anyone, he said.
“We’ve tried other modalities, and now it’s time to produce true, natural tears with this device,” Bloomenstein said.
The FDA approved TrueTear in April 2017 as a class 2 medical device. Allergan officially launched it during the 2018 American Society of Cataract and Refractive Surgery and American Society of Ophthalmic Administrators annual meetings held in April in Washington. – by Abigail Sutton
Disclosures: Bloomenstein is on the speakers’ panel for Abbott Medical Optics, Alcon, Allergan, Bausch + Lomb, Better Vision Institute, BlephEx, Bruder, Macular Health and TearLab. Dosanjh is employed by Allergan.