Eyedrops developed by an Israeli company have proven to improve eyesight in clinical trials, offering promise of a revolutionary new consumer product.
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Orasis Pharmaceuticals has been working to develop a treatment for presbyopia, which is the inability to focus on close objects. According to the company, current treatment for the condition is “cumbersome or invasive” but that could all change if the eyedrops, labeled CSF-1, come to market.
The product passed the Phase 2b clinical trial in October, when results showed the drops could provide “statistically significant improvement in distance-corrected near visual acuity,” according to a company report. Furthermore, CSF-1 “demonstrated an exceptional safety and tolerability profile.”
The relief reversal of farsightedness is temporary and only lasts a few hours but it does not take long for the effects to be felt, Forbes reported. The results are based upon a study of 166 participants spread out over various U.S. research centers.
Patients improved their vision by three eye chart lines.
Elad Kedar, chief executive officer of Orasis, said the completion of the study was a “significant milestone” for the company.
“We are encouraged by these results and CSF-1’s potential to improve the quality of life for people with presbyopia,” Kedar said. “CSF-1 can potentially alleviate the burden of reading glasses and offer a meaningful solution for billions of people living with age-related farsightedness worldwide.”
The product was developed from chemicals that are already found in eye medications being used for other treatments, Forbes noted. The results are encouraging but some medical experts are skeptical.
Among them is Dr. Eve J. Higginbotham, SM, M.D., a professor of ophthalmology at Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania. She often sees patients neglecting their own treatment when put in charge of administering medication.
“There’s a question of whether or not people will actually use these drops twice a day in order to see a little better up close,” she told Forbes. “I am sure there may be a small segment of the population that may choose to put drops in twice a day, but for the vast majority of individuals, using drops twice a day may be a challenge.”
Researchers are not deterred and are preparing to start Phase 3.
“Results have been consistent. We are really excited about the next steps and working to get the full product on the market as soon as possible,” Kedar said.