The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved the first drug for the treatment of thyroid eye disease, a rare condition where the muscles and fatty tissues behind the eye become inflamed, causing the eyes to be pushed forward and bulge outwards.
The drug, Tepezza (teprotumumab-trbw), was approved on Tuesday based on the results of two studies consisting of a total of 170 patients with active thyroid eye disease who were randomised to either receive Tepezza or a placebo.
Of the patients who were administered Tepezza, 71 per cent in Study one and 83 per cent in Study two demonstrated a greater than two millimetere reduction in eye protrusion as compared to 20 per cent and 10 per cent of subjects who received placebo, respectively.
"Today's approval marks an important milestone for the treatment of thyroid eye disease. Currently, there are very limited treatment options for this potentially debilitating disease," said Wiley Chambers, Deputy Director of the Division of Transplant and Ophthalmology Products in the FDA's Centre for Drug Evaluation and Research.
"This treatment has the potential to alter the course of the disease, potentially sparing patients from needing multiple invasive surgeries by providing an alternative, non surgical treatment option," Chambers said.
Thyroid eye disease is associated with the outward bulging of the eye that can cause a variety of symptoms such as eye pain, double vision, light sensitivity or difficulty closing the eye.
Although this condition impacts relatively few individuals, thyroid eye disease can be incapacitating.
For example, the troubling ocular symptoms can lead to the progressive inability of people with thyroid eye disease to perform important daily activities, such as driving or working.
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