New treatment for severe corneal inflammation of DED now listed on PBS


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MELBOURNE, Oct 1, 2021 – (ACN Newswire) – Today, adults living with severe corneal inflammation due to DED (dry eye disease) have access to a new treatment on PBS. Ikervis (R), Australia’s first PBS-listed disease-modifying cyclosporin eye drop treatment for severe keratitis in adults with DED, is now available (October 1, 2021).

First licensed in Australia by Seqirus, a 100% subsidiary of CSL, of the leading ophthalmic company Santen Pharmaceutical Co Ltd, Ikervis contains the disease-modifying therapy ciclosporin, used to reduce inflammation associated with severe keratitis in DED.

According to Professor Stephanie Watson, ophthalmologist, clinician-scientist, ophthalmic surgeon and president of the Ophthalmological Research Institute of Australia, the COVID-19 pandemic is worsening cases of DED due to increased mask use and time spent in front of the screen.

“We have seen a marked increase in dry eye symptoms among mask users. Typically, DED affects women more than men. According to a US study, women are almost three times more likely to develop DED than men and often progress to more severe forms of the disease earlier than men, ”said Professor Watson.

“Keratitis, a condition involving inflammation of the cornea, can be a complication for some patients with DED. Patients with severe DED keratitis usually have eye surface damage and inflammation that can sometimes look like an itchy, itchy, or burning sensation with possible blurring. vision.

“Patients with severe corneal inflammation due to DED are often treated with a number of different treatment options, which can be costly for a condition requiring continued management. A new subsidized treatment option will improve access for these patients, ”said Professor Watson. .

“Severe corneal inflammation from DED is complicated by a difficult cycle involving inflammation of the eye and damage to the surface of the eye. Treatment options targeting the immune system are therefore needed to manage these complications of DED and break the cycle of inflammation, ”said Dr Margaret Lam, Optometrist, Head of Professional Services at George and Matilda Eyecare and Associate Lecturer at the School of Optometry & Vision Science, UNSW.

“Artificial tears aim to relieve symptoms of DED, but do not treat the underlying cause of severe corneal inflammation. In these cases, treatment options that reduce inflammation are needed. Today’s PBS list Hiding another treatment option for severe keratitis in adults with DED is therefore good news for ophthalmologists, optometrists and patients, ”said Dr. Lam.

Executive President of Team B Australasia, Lynette has spent the past 16 years living with severe corneal inflammation from DED. Shortly after having cataract surgery on both of her eyes in 2005, her eyes became extremely irritated and she developed double vision. She did not know at the time that her cataract surgery, coupled with a late diagnosis and advanced age, would lead to the development of severe corneal inflammation due to DED.

“I am often unable to see things. For example, I have to wear a magnifying glass when my eyes get blurry, or I develop double vision. Even in the supermarket, I have to carry a magnifying glass to read food. Said Lynette. “When people ask me to look at something for them at work, whether it’s a document or on the screen, depending on the health of my eyes at the time, I find it really difficult.”

Lynette argues that it is important for Australian adults living with severe corneal inflammation due to DED to have timely access to a range of treatment options. “If my eye disease had been detected earlier, it might not have had such an impact on my life,” said Lynette.

Seqirus Director of Medical Affairs for the International Region, Dr Jonathan Anderson, Melbourne, said Seqirus is excited to introduce the company’s second PBS-listed treatment option to the eye care market this year.

“Seqirus is committed to expanding access to eye care products to help meet unmet clinical needs,” said
Dr Anderson. “Ikervis’ today’s PBS list for severe keratitis in adults with DED will give Australians access to another treatment option that has long been available overseas.”

About Ikervis
Approved by the TGA in December 2020, Ikervis is a Schedule 4 (S4): Prescription Only Medicine drug. Ikervis is listed on the PBS from October 1, 2021 for severe keratitis in DED, for prescription by an optometrist or ophthalmologist and requires the approval of the Authority.

About Seqirus
Seqirus, a CSL company, is a leading supplier of essential pharmaceuticals and vaccines. After serving Australia’s health care needs for over a century, today we operate Australia’s only local manufacturing facility for seasonal and pandemic influenza vaccines. Seqirus produces unique medicines of national interest, as well as licenses for a wide range of pediatric and adult vaccines and specialty pharmaceuticals. Visit www.seqirus.com.

Mel Kheradi, VIVA! Communications, m: 0421 551 257, e: [email protected]

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