Dry eye, or what doctors call keratoconjunctivitis sicca, is a fairly widespread problem, affecting an estimated 10 percent to 20 percent of people. But it’s even more common in people with diabetes; research has found that about half of all diabetes patients have dry eye symptoms.
So it comes as good news that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved a new treatment for dry eye syndrome. It’s called Cequa, and it’s made by Sun Pharmaceuticals. According to Abhay Gandhi, CEO, North America, Sun Pharmaceuticals, “Dry eye disease represents an area of high unmet medical need, with a significant number of patients who are currently untreated. The U.S. FDA approval of Cequa represents a long-awaited dry eye treatment option….”
Cequa is a formulation of cyclosporine A, or CsA. CsA Itself isn’t new; it’s been used to treat dry eye for some 15 years. But Sun Pharmaceuticals says that Cequa is different in two ways. First, it has the highest FDA-approved concentration of CsA (0.09%). Second, it is the first and only FDA-approved CsA product that incorporates what’s known as nanomicellar technology. This technology, Sun says, allows the CsA molecule to “overcome solubility problems” and to penetrate the aqueous layer of the eye. In other words, the tiny size of the nanomicelles makes it easier for high concentrations of CsA to enter the corneal and conjunctival cells.
In its final pre-approval trial, Cequa demonstrated “statistically significant improvement” after 12 weeks of use. Cequa will be sold in a single-use vial and is meant to be applied twice a day.