Cataract is the clouding of eye lens and it can occur in either one or both the eyes. Cataract is generally more common among people over 80 years of age. According to the National Eye Institute, more than half of the Americans suffer from cataract. Eye lens is transparent and light sensitive and is located at the back of the eye. It helps to focus light rays on retina which aids in the formation of clear image. Images at retina are converted into optic signals that are then communicated to the brain. Eye lens is made up of protein and water, but as a person grows old, the protein of the lens clump together and starts to form a cloud which continues to grow, time making it harder for patients to see. Cloud formation in eye lens is the characteristic feature of cataract. In people affected by cataract, colour of eye lens also changes to brownish, adding a brownish tint to their vision.
Considerable growth in therapeutic pipeline of cataract is expected in the future which could be attributed primarily to the increasing prevalence of cataract. According to researchers, smoking and diabetes are considered to be the major causes of cataract disease. Consumption of unhygienic crops and fruits, unhealthy lifestyle and rising level of pollutants in the environment are some of other important factors responsible for increasing incidence of cataract disease.
Many companies are conducting clinical studies to evaluate the safety and efficacy of drugs in the treatment of cataract disease. For example, DYME by Aqumen Biopharmaceuticals, N.A. is in the clinical Phase III, Bromfenac by Bausch & Lomb Incorporated in the clinical Phase III, OMS302 by Omeros Corporation is in the clinical Phase I/II, Bromfenac ophthalmic solution by Bausch & Lomb Incorporated in the clinical Phase III, C-KAD Ophthalmic Solution by Chakshu Research, Inc. in clinical Phase II and DE-108 by Santen Pharmaceutical Co., Ltd., in clinical Phase III. Icon Bioscience Inc. (Icon) submitted a New Drug Application to the United States Food and Drug Administration for the drug IBI-10090, which is used in the treatment of inflammation associated with post-operative cataract surgery. IBI-10090 is an anti-inflammatory agent and a biodegradable extended-release formulation, injected during eye surgery in the chamber of eye with the help of Icon's Varisome drug-delivery technology.
In September 2016, Johnson & Johnson Pharmaceutical Ltd. entered into an agreement with Abbott Medical Optics Inc. (AMO) to acquire for the wholesome amount of $4.325 billion. AMO’s reported sales were around $1.1 billion for the year 2015. The acquisition also included accession of ophthalmic products in three business segments such as, cataract surgery, laser refractive surgery and consumer eye health. In March 2016, Acucela Inc. and YouHealth Eyetech Inc. signed an agreement of license on lanosterol technology for the non-surgical pharmacologic treatment of cataracts.
Some of the companies having a pipeline of cataract therapeutics include, Allergan plc, Genentech, Inc., Aqumen Biopharmaceuticals, N.A., Reata Pharmaceuticals, Inc. Bausch & Lomb Incorporated, Omeros Corporation, Chakshu Research, Inc., Santen Pharmaceutical Co., Ltd., Eyegate Pharmaceuticals, Inc., Icon Bioscience Inc., Othera Pharmaceuticals Inc., Xigen SA, Regeneron Pharmaceuticals Inc., ESBATech AG, Valeant Pharmaceuticals International, Inc., Ivantis, Inc., Eyetech Pharmaceuticals Inc., Ocular Therapeutix, Inc., Merck Sharp & Dohme Corp., Dompé Farmaceutici S.p.A, Sirion Therapeutics, Inc., Croma-Pharma GmbH, Kala Pharmaceuticals, Inc. and Amgen plc.