Aerie Pharmaceuticals announced that the U.S. FDA approved 0.02% of its glaucoma new drug Rhopressa (netarsudil ophthalmic solution) for the treatment of patients with open-angle glaucoma or ocular hypertension and reduced their intraocular pressure. It is worth mentioning that, the original deadline for this new drug is February 28, 2018, and the date this drug approved more than two months earlier than expected!
Glaucoma is a common ocular disease that affects vision and is second only to vision cataract killers. It is a very common eye disease worldwide, with a total of up to 10 million patients. The main cause of glaucoma is the production of aqueous humor in the eye can not be properly discharged, resulting in elevated intraocular pressure. Long-term increase in intraocular pressure will oppress the optic nerve to make it damaged, resulting in loss of vision, which may eventually lead to blindness. The true cause of glaucoma is not very clear, so the disease can not be cured. By means of drugs or surgery can reduce intraocular pressure, to slow the development of the disease. At present, the drug liked Hyaluronic Acid, Latanoprost, Bimatoprost are the most popular treatment method in clinic practice.
The approved Rhopressa is a brand new daily eye drop. It targets the trabecular meshwork of the eye and regulates aqueous humor outflow, thereby reducing the scleral venous pressure. In addition, Rhopressa may also reduce IOP by reducing the production of eye fluid. In two Phase 3 clinical trials named Rocket2 and Rocket1, Rhopressa achieved excellent results and submitted FDA applications for marketing to the FDA based on these data. In October of this year, the U.S. FDA's assessment confirmed these data. Experts supported Rhopressa's listing on a 9: 1 vote.
The approval of Rhopressa is the biggest achievement of Aerie since its establishment. It is also exciting news for open-angle glaucoma or ocular hypertension patients and their doctors.