New non-surgical treatment for common, vexing eye condition

March 31, 2014
These are pre- and post-treatment photos of a pterygium treated with an eye drop formulation of the anti-anginal drug dipyridamole (Persantin®). Credit: MedInsight Research Institute

A new report reveals a potential breakthrough in the treatment of a common eye ailment known as pterygium (Surfer's eye) that impacts the vision, eye health, and cosmetic appearance of countless sufferers.

The newly published report shows that containing the anti-anginal drug dipyridamole (Persantin, Cardoxin) led to almost total disappearance of an inflamed pterygium in a 35 year old otherwise healthy woman.

Dipyridamole is a drug in use over the past 55 years to treat other disorders, but now found to have this remarkable new use.

Pterygium is a disorder in which a non-cancerous growth develops on the white conjunctiva of the and over time invades the cornea. In some countries it affects up to 25% of the population. As the growth spreads, patients can develop vision problems as well as significant discomfort from complications such as dry eye, inflammation, irritation, and foreign body sensation. Additionally, because of their location in the eyes, pterygia are a cause of substantial cosmetic concern for sufferers.

Until now, eye surgery has been the only curative option, aided by medications trying to lessen the disorder's symptoms. However, even after eye surgery, pterygia often recur.

The new report's lead author, Moshe Rogosnitzky, who is Co-Founder and Director of Research at the MedInsight Research Institute, discovered that administration of dipyridamole eye drops significantly reduced a pterygium and completely resolved the associated inflammation and other symptoms.

Clinical trials are now being plannedfor pterygia, pingueculae, and other common eye disorders and their complications such as dry eye and inflammation.

One particular advantage to this discovery is that dipyridamole is a widely-approved anti-thrombosis medication that has been in use for over 55 years. Its safety profile is well-established; as such, fast-track development of dipyridamole eye drops as a repurposed drug is feasible.

Moshe Rogosnitzky commented on this finding, "Pterygium and are debilitating disorders for which new safe solutions are urgently needed, and I believe dipyridamole has the potential to provide relief to sufferers of these intractable conditions.

Rogosnitzky, who specializes in finding new uses for old drugs, continued, "This is yet another example of the advantages of drug repurposing. Whereas bringing a new drug to market can take up to 17 years or more, finding a new use for an old with an excellent safety profile can lead to approval and availability in as little as two years."

Explore further: Common antibiotic may combat dry eye disease

More information: The findings of this report and photos of the treated eye are published in Case Reports in Ophthalmology (2014; 5:pp. 98-103) on March 25, 2014.

Related Stories

Common antibiotic may combat dry eye disease

December 23, 2013
Meibomian gland dysfunction (MGD) is the leading cause of dry eye disease, which affects tens of millions of Americans. However, there is no FDA-approved treatment for MGD. Researchers from the Schepens Eye Research Institute/Massachusetts ...

Sealant gel approved for eye surgery

January 10, 2014
(HealthDay)—A sealant gel to prevent fluid leakage after cataract surgery has been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.

Topical use of arthritis drug provides relief for dry eye disease

April 18, 2013
Dry eye disease (DED) is a common condition that causes discomfort, visual disturbance and potentially damaging ocular surface inflammation that greatly impacts a person's quality of life. An estimated nine million people ...

Researchers establish link between dry eye disease and dehydration

October 5, 2012
Dry eye disease (DED) is a condition which can cause extreme discomfort and lead to eye damage.  While difficult to establish the full costs of this condition to healthcare and society in the UK, it is estimated that current ...

Safe treatment for rare eye disease Acanthamoeba Keratitis

March 6, 2014
The ODAK ('Orphan Drug for Acanthamoeba Keratitis') project is working to develop a safe and effective treatment for Acanthamoeba keratitis (AK), a rare infectious eye disease which causes severe debilitation and can lead ...

Recommended for you

Combination of type 2 diabetes and sleep apnoea indicates eyesight loss within four years

July 4, 2017
Research led by the University of Birmingham has discovered that patients who suffer from both Type 2 diabetes and obstructive sleep apnoea are at greater risk of developing a condition that leads to blindness within an average ...

Nearly 60% of pinkeye patients receive antibiotic eye drops, but they're seldom necessary

June 28, 2017
A new study suggests that most people with acute conjunctivitis, or pinkeye, are getting the wrong treatment.

Magnetic implants used to treat 'dancing eyes'

June 26, 2017
A research team has successfully used magnets implanted behind a person's eyes to treat nystagmus, a condition characterised by involuntary eye movements.

Drug shows promise against vision-robbing disease in seniors

June 21, 2017
An experimental drug is showing promise against an untreatable eye disease that blinds older adults—and intriguingly, it seems to work in patients who carry a particular gene flaw that fuels the damage to their vision.

Reproducing a retinal disease on a chip

June 15, 2017
Approximately 80% of all sensory input is received via the eyes, so suffering from chronic retinal diseases that lead to blindness causes a significant decrease in the quality of life (QOL). And because retinal diseases are ...

New gene therapy for vision loss proven safe in humans

May 16, 2017
In a small and preliminary clinical trial, Johns Hopkins researchers and their collaborators have shown that an experimental gene therapy that uses viruses to introduce a therapeutic gene into the eye is safe and that it ...

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.