Antibodies based eye drops show Promising Effectiveness in dry eye disease

In a first, researchers at the University of Illinois have identified the presence of a specific type of antibody, called APCA (anti-citrullinated protein autoantibodies) in human tear fluid. They demonstrated that eye drop treatment made from pooled human antibodies reduced the severity of the disease condition in patients with dry eye disease. Dry eye disease is developed from the abnormalities in the tear fluid and causes dryness surrounding the areas cover the cornea, the transparent outer layer of the eye which can lead to cause sensitivity to light and compromise the vision of the patient.

In this study, researchers identified ACPAs as a contributor to the development of webs on the surface of eyes affected by severe dry eye disease, which are developed from the strands of DNA extrude of neutrophils and ultimately cause inflammation. The researchers called these webs as a “vicious cycle of inflammation”. The eye drops treat dry eye disease by partially knocking the immune system out of this cycle.

The drops were formulated using pooled antibodies, which were prepared from immune globulins from blood from thousands of individuals, that contained different types of antibodies. these antibodies counteract the negative effect of ACPAs. 

The phase I and Phase II trial study was conducted to compare the effect of antibodies- based eye drops with eye drops without the antibodies. After the evaluation of a patient’s symptoms, the researchers found that people who were administered the antibodies-based eye drops had a statistically significant and clinically meaningful reduction in corneal damage as compared to the people administered eye drops without antibodies.

According to the researchers, the data obtained from this early clinical trial study suggests that eye drops containing pooled antibodies may be potentially safe and effective in the treatment of dry eye disease.

Currently, there are only two approved drugs to treat dry eye and are not effective for every patient suffering from dry eye disease. The finding of this study may be a potential and effective treatment for such patients.
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