Antibody-based eye drops could reduce dry eye after just eight weeks, according to findings by researchers at the University of Illinois, Chicago.
As reported in the journal The Ocular Surface, the researchers were the first to identify the presence of a specific type of antibody, called anti-citrullinated protein autoantibodies, or ACPAs, in human tear fluid. Additionally, they were first to demonstrate that patients with dry eye disease experienced reduced signs and symptoms of the condition in response to a new eye drop treatment – made from pooled human antibodies – that targets ACPAs.
The new eye drops treat dry eye disease by knocking the immune system out of this cycle, at least partially.
The drops are formulated using pooled antibodies – which are made from immune globulins processed from the donated blood of thousands of individuals, all containing varied types of antibodies – that counteract the negative effects of ACPAs.
The phase I/II drug trial compared the antibody-based eye drops with eye drops without the antibodies. Twenty-seven participants with severe dry eye disease participated in the randomised trial.
Patient questionnaires and clinical examinations found that people using antibody-based eye drops had a statistically significant and clinically meaningful reduction in corneal damage at eight weeks compared with the control group. Symptoms also reflected significant improvement.
Larger randomised trials are needed to definitively prove efficacy.
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