Dry eye syndrome, also known as dry eye disease, keratitis sicca and keratoconjunctivitis sicca, is a form of ocular surface and tears disease that results in problems in vision, discomfort and tear film instability, causing potential damage to the ocular surface. It can also overlap with other causes of ocular surface disease such as meibomian gland dysfunction and ocular allergy. The ocular surface consists of seven components including the lacrimal and accessory lacrimal apparatus, the tear film, the nasolacrimal drainage system, the bulbar and tarsal conjunctiva, the eyelids, cranial nerve V and cranial nerve VII. Any abnormalities or deficiencies in one of these ocular surface components may worsen the condition of dry eye syndrome in a patient. Dry eye syndrome is categorized into two types which includes dry eye syndrome associated with sjögren syndrome and dry eye syndrome unassociated with sjögren syndrome. Dry eye syndrome can also be sub-divided into pure aqueous deficiency dry eye and evaporative dry eye.
Some of the symptoms associated with dry eye syndrome include hyperemia, ocular irritation, mucoid discharge, excessive tearing, blurred vision, photophobia, ocular dryness and grittiness. Dry eye syndrome can be treated by using lubricating supplements that includes artificial tear substitutes, gels, emulsions, ointments, topical anti-inflammatory agents such as topical cyclosporine, topical corticosteroids, topical or systemic tetracyclines, topical hyaluronic acid, autologous or umbilical cord serum, systemic immunosuppressants and topical or systemic omega-3 fatty acids.
Drug manufacturing companies are constantly in the quest to find better and new treatment strategies with potential targets such as glucocorticoid receptor and tumor necrosis factor-alpha (TNF-α) which can also prove to be effective in dry eye syndrome treatment. Various companies are developing drug candidates using different technologies for development of effective and better drugs, which is driving the growth of the pipeline.
As of June 2017, the dry eye syndrome pipeline comprises approximately 50 active drug candidates in different stages of development.
DRY EYE SYNDROME PIPELINE SPLIT, BY MOLECULE TYPE (2017)
Some of the other key players developing drugs for the treatment of dry eye syndrome include Ocular Therapeutix, Inc., LTT Bio-Pharma, HanAll BioPharma Co., Ltd. and others.
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