Oxervate, a treatment for moderate or severe neurotrophic keratitis, has been approved for use in the European Union.
Patients with neurotrophic keratitis, a rare disease, have damage to the trigeminal nerve. This results in reduced or lack of sensation in the cornea, and reduced production of the substances that play an important role in repairing damage and ensuring survival of cornea cells.
Oxervate (cenegermin) is a copy of a human growth factor called nerve growth factor. When given as eye drops to patients with neurotrophic keratitis, it has shown to help restore some of the normal healing processes in the eye and repair damage to the cornea.
Until now, there has been no satisfactory treatment for neurotrophic keratitis. Depending on the stage of their disease, patients may be given eye drops to moisten the eye, antibiotics for eye infections, and protective contact lenses. Where appropriate, they may undergo surgery.
The ulcer closed at day 20, transparency gradually improved, and after a few months she had a perfectly transparent cornea with excellent vision
Dr. Paolo Rama, a pioneer in the use of nerve growth factor (NGF) for the treatment of corneal ulcers, said he was “immensely satisfied” with this achievement. In 1996, he used NGF to treat a seven year old girl with a deep stromal ulceration secondary to congenital trigeminal nerve agenesis.
“The ulcer closed at day 20, transparency gradually improved, and after a few months she had a perfectly transparent cornea with excellent vision, which remained stable without further treatment,” said Dr. Rama. Subsequently, he successfully treated over 100 eyes with neurotrophic ulcers under compassionate use regulations.