Dry eyes can arise as a result of insufficient tear production, excess tear loss, abnormalities of eyelids and blinking, or changes in tear film composition. Different forms of dry eye interact with each other, creating a vicious circle. Inflammation is both a cause and a consequence of dry eye, and can have a key role in maintaining the vicious circle. Dry eye syndrome is a common condition affecting 15-33% of those aged over 65 years. Prevalence increases with age.
Dry eyes are commonly treated with non-prescription products, such as artificial tears (lubricating eye drops) and ointments. In some cases punctal plugs are applied to reduce tear fluid removal. More severe dry eyes are treated with prescription eye drops, with available options being few and with an unfavorable side effects profile.
Oculis is conducting pre-clinical studies for its dry eye candidate, OC301, which are to be completed in July 2016, with phase I and phase II pilot studies conducted in 2H 2016. Early research on OC301 is promising, indicating that the product could have benefits over already licensed alternatives.