CRFA Announces New Rock Inhibitor Study

The Cornea Research Foundation of America is pleased to announce a new investigational study, “The ROCK Inhibitor Study to Reduce Cornea Transplant Complications”. This study will enroll patients with Fuchs’ dystrophy or other forms of corneal endothelial failure who are undergoing a DMEK cornea transplant with Price Vision Group. The study aligns with the Foundation’s pioneering series of studies that began in 2011 to reduce side effects of corticosteroid eye drops to protect transplant health. This particular study takes a different approach from prior studies by evaluating a new eye drop to be used in combination with corticosteroids.
 
The study will evaluate the investigational eye drop RhopressaTM (netarsudil ophthalmic solution) 0.02% to determine if it can reduce the most common transplant complication, increased pressure inside the eye (called intraocular pressure or IOP). If unable to be controlled, increased IOP can lead to glaucoma and irreversible vision loss. RhopressaTM belongs to a special class of medications known as Rho kinase “ROCK” inhibitors and is currently being evaluated in clinical trials as a treatment for glaucoma. 
 
Immunologic graft rejection is a serious risk for cornea transplant failure so corticosteroid eye drops are prescribed for long term use to prevent this from occurring. Over time, corticosteroids can cause the eye’s primary fluid drain to clog causing elevated IOP.
 
“Our research indicates that DMEK is by far the best surgical option for those with Fuchs’ dystrophy because of its remarkable outcomes and quick healing. Should this approach prove successful, the long term implications of this study would be to reduce the risk of elevated IOP not only in DMEK, but with other forms of cornea transplants where the rejection risk is higher and more corticosteroids are needed,” said Francis W. Price, Jr., MD, founder of the Cornea Research Foundation of America. He continued, “This treatment could be especially beneficial for transplant patients who have preexisting glaucoma, since we know graft longevity can be affected negatively by glaucoma surgery.”
 
ROCK inhibitors are not currently approved for use in the United States by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to treat glaucoma. To our knowledge, this will be the first study in the United States evaluating one these drugs in the context of corneal transplants.
 

Questions? Email info@cornea.org or call 317-814-2996.
 

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