Glaucoma refers to a group of optic neuropathies that result in damage to the optic nerve head and loss of visual field. There are typical morphological optic nerve changes and visual field loss. The most important risk factor is raised intraocular pressure (IOP).
Glaucoma is one of the most common eye conditions encountered in primary and secondary care. The World Health Organization estimated that in 2010 glaucoma accounted for 2% of visual impairment and 8% of global blindness. Glaucoma is the leading cause of irreversible blindness in the world.
Glaucoma eye drops lower eye pressure either by reducing the amount of fluid created in the eye or by helping this fluid flow out of the eye through the drainage angle. Examples of available treatments are beta-blockers, prostaglandins analogs, carbonic anhydrase inhibitors and adrenergic drugs.
While many glaucoma patients are treated successfully with eye drop monotherapy, many need combination of drugs in eye drops or surgical treatment to control their glaucoma. Combination treatment typically takes one drug from each of the classes of glaucoma drugs. However, many patients cannot tolerate one or more classes of drugs due to systemic side effects, allergies or irritation.
A new class of IOP lowering glaucoma drugs would be an important addition to the drug arsenal available for combination treatment as well as possible monotherapy.