FDA Approves First-of-its-Kind Glaucoma Treatment
Reviewed by Preeti Subramanian, PhD
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has approved a new treatment for glaucoma, iDose® TR (travoprost intracameral implant, 75 mcg). iDose TR is a first-of-its kind treatment that is designed to provide up to three years of 24/7, continuous drug therapy directly inside the eye, helping people with glaucoma take control over the elevated eye pressure associated with this vision disease.
It is the first eye implant to deliver medication 24/7 for an extended period of time. Another FDA-approved implant, Durysta, is biodegradable and dissolves after six months.
Glaucoma is a group of diseases that cause damage to the optic nerve, a bundle of more than one million nerve fibers that carry visual information from the eye to the brain. The most common form of glaucoma, open angle glaucoma, is caused by increased pressure in the eye.
If left untreated, glaucoma can cause permanent damage to the eye, which means vision loss cannot be reversed. Prescription eye drops are the most common treatment for glaucoma, but they can be difficult to administer correctly and can cause uncomfortable or irritating side effects. High rates of non-compliance and non-adherence to prescription medications contribute to disease progression.
iDose TR treats glaucoma by automatically releasing the same type of medication used for decades in the most commonly prescribed eye drops. After 12 months of a clinical study, 81% of people were able to eliminate the burden of taking daily eye drops.
“BrightFocus welcomes the approval of iDose as a new option for people with glaucoma to take control of their treatment,” said BrightFocus President and CEO Stacy Pagos Haller. “By potentially reducing the need for daily eye drops, this new treatment offers an improved treatment for the three million Americans living with glaucoma.”
The manufacturer, Glaukos, expects iDose TR to be available in the first quarter of 2024. View the full press release for more details.
iDose delivers a class of drugs called prostaglandin analogs, which reduce pressure in the eye by increasing the outward flow of fluid from the eye. In 2004, BrightFocus' National Glaucoma Research program funded research exploring the mechanism behind how prostaglandin analogs reduce eye pressure, improving scientists' ability to understand how this class of drugs works.
BrightFocus has invested nearly $100 million in vision research worldwide on the causes and potential prevention and treatment of glaucoma and macular degeneration. BrightFocus Foundation’s National Glaucoma Research program has funded breakthrough studies that have led to a better understanding of the disease and novel treatments. Learn more.
BrightFocus Foundation is a premier global nonprofit funder of research to defeat Alzheimer’s, macular degeneration, and glaucoma. Through its flagship research programs — Alzheimer’s Disease Research, National Glaucoma Research, and Macular Degeneration Research — the Foundation has awarded nearly $290 million in groundbreaking research funding over the past 50 years and shares the latest research findings, expert information, and resources to empower the millions impacted by these devastating diseases. Learn more at brightfocus.org.
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