Targeting Reactive Oxygen Species Production as a Novel Therapeutic in Fuch's Endothelial Corneal Dystrophy

Targeting Reactive Oxygen Species Production as a Novel Therapeutic in Fuch's Endothelial Corneal Dystrophy

Sponsors

Lead Sponsor: Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary

Source Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary
Brief Summary

This protocol will investigate whether topical application of N-acetyl cysteine (NAC) eye drops decreases oxidative stress and confers cytoprotection in patients with FECD.

Detailed Description

Fuchs Endothelial Corneal Dystrophy (FECD) is the most common corneal endothelial disorder and has been estimated to affect approximately 4% of the US population over the age of 40. Corneal transplantation is currently the primary treatment modality available to treat FECD, and there are no medical therapies that treat the disease or stall its progression. Therefore, there is an unmet need to identify pharmacotherapeutic interventions that would prevent the endothelial cell loss in early through late stages of FECD, as well as after corneal transplantation, aiding in the survival of the corneal grafts. The investigators know that cell loss in FECD is caused by increased oxidative stress in the CEC and aqueous humor of FECD. The investigators have in vitro and in vivo data showing that the processes involved in the development of FECD can be arrested with administration of N-acetyl cysteine (NAC). Currently topical solutions of NAC are already used in ophthalmology for application in keratoconjunctivitis sicca (using 20% weight/volume solution or 10%), meibomian gland dysfunction (using 5%) and Sjögren's dry eye syndrome (also using 5%). This is a single center, double-blind, placebo-controlled, randomized trial. Adult participants with advanced FECD and cataracts who qualify for the standard treatment (combined Descemet Membrane Endothelial Keratoplasty (DMEK) and cataract surgery) will be enrolled at Massachusetts Eye and Ear. After meeting eligibility criteria and completing informed consent, 30 eyes from up to 30 participants with advanced FECD and cataracts with indication for combined DMEK and cataract surgery will be initially enrolled. (NOTE: Some participants may be enrolled twice if they elect to have both eyes treated within the study.) Eyes will be randomized 1:1 to NAC 10% and the placebo, Visine Tears Dry Eye Relief artificial tears ophthalmic solution. Each participant will self-administer 1 drop of study drug four times a day in the planned operative eye for 28 days prior to planned surgery. After interim analysis of the study with 30 eyes, if a significant difference in the primary endpoint between NAC 10% and placebo is not found, an additional 15 eyes from up to 15 participants will be enrolled and assigned to 20% NAC. Prior to and after using the study medication, participants will complete patient-reported visual disability questionnaires and have corneal measurements and images taken. Participants additionally will complete a tolerability and medication adherence questionnaire after using the study medication. In the operating room, a standard incision will be made to collect the fluid from the anterior part of the eye and replaced with a salt solution or viscous agent routinely used during the surgery. This procedure is routinely performed during this type of surgery, however, some of the aqueous fluid will be collected and analyzed rather than being discarded. Additionally, corneal tissue which is normally removed during corneal transplantation surgery and discarded will be kept for further research on FECD.

Overall Status Recruiting
Start Date 2020-11-06
Completion Date 2021-12-30
Primary Completion Date 2021-08-01
Phase Phase 2
Study Type Interventional
Primary Outcome
Measure Time Frame
Level of H2O2 in the aqueous humor DMEK Surgery occurs 28 to 42 days after participant enrollment
Secondary Outcome
Measure Time Frame
Assessment of safety of NAC eye drops in patients with FECD by documenting the number and severity of adverse events. Ongoing safety assessment will occur starting on the first day when subjects receive the study drug, through the pre-operative visit, surgery and post-surgical follow-up visits, a period of approximately 6-7 weeks.
Assessment of tolerability of N-acetyl cysteine drops in patients with FECD by documenting participants' reports of irritation, burning, itchiness or redness in their eyes while taking the study drug Tolerability will be assessed after participants have taken study drug for 28 days or earlier, if the participants report difficulties tolerating the drug.
Change in patient-reported visual disability after NAC administration Assessed when subject starts study drug and again, 21 to 28 days later.
Change in central corneal thickness after NAC administration Assessed when subject starts study drug and again, 21 to 28 days later.
Change in corneal endothelial cell counts after NAC administration Assessed when subject starts study drug and again, 21 to 28 days later.
Changes in corneal tomography after NAC administration Assessed when subject starts study drug and again, 21 to 28 days later.
Enrollment 45
Condition
Intervention

Intervention Type: Drug

Intervention Name: N-acetyl cysteine (NAC) 10% solution

Description: N-acetyl cysteine is a sterile, unpreserved eye drop containing 10% (100 mg/mL) of acetylcysteine.

Arm Group Label: NAC 10% group

Other Name: acetylcysteine

Intervention Type: Drug

Intervention Name: N-acetyl cysteine (NAC) 20% solution

Description: N-acetyl cysteine is a sterile, unpreserved eye drop containing 20% (200 mg/mL) of acetylcysteine.

Arm Group Label: NAC 20% group

Other Name: acetylcysteine

Intervention Type: Drug

Intervention Name: Visine Dry Eye Relief eye drops

Description: Visine Tears Dry Eye Relief artificial tears ophthalmic solution

Arm Group Label: Placebo group

Eligibility

Criteria:

Inclusion Criteria: 1. Male or female ≥21 years of age at time of surgical evaluation. 2. Diagnosis of advanced FECD and visually significant cataract 3. Indication for DMEK (Descemet Membrane Endothelial Keratoplasty) with concurrent cataract surgery 4. Written informed consent obtained from subject and ability for subject to comply with the requirements of the study. 5. Willingness and ability to adhere to medication regimen Exclusion Criteria: 1. Pregnant, breastfeeding, or unwilling to practice birth control during participation in the study. 2. History of prior intraocular surgery in study eye including cataract, glaucoma and/or retina surgery 3. History of other corneal diseases, such as severe dry eye, corneal scars, pseudophakic bullous keratopathy, corneal degenerations, corneal infections 4. Use of ocular prescription medications except for lubricants, hyperosmotic agents, or ocular hypotensive agents 5. History of ocular surface infection within the past 30 days 6. Use of systemic, inhalational, or topical N-Acetylcysteine within the past 30 days 7. History of intolerance to topical N-Acetylcysteine 8. Presence of a condition or abnormality that in the opinion of the Investigator would compromise the safety of the patient or the quality of the data. -

Gender: All

Minimum Age: 21 Years

Maximum Age: N/A

Healthy Volunteers: No

Overall Official
Last Name Role Affiliation
Ula Jurkunas, MD Principal Investigator Massachusetts Eye and Ear
Overall Contact

Last Name: Kevin Ma, MD

Phone: 6175737900

Email: [email protected]

Location
Facility: Status: Contact: Contact Backup: Investigator: Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary Stacey Ellender 857-231-1593 [email protected] Ula Jurkunas, MD Principal Investigator
Location Countries

United States

Verification Date

2020-11-01

Responsible Party

Type: Principal Investigator

Investigator Affiliation: Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary

Investigator Full Name: Ula Jurkunas

Investigator Title: Associate Professor, Harvard Medical School

Keywords
Has Expanded Access No
Condition Browse
Number Of Arms 3
Arm Group

Label: NAC 10% group

Type: Active Comparator

Description: Subjects in this group will be treated with eye drops containing a 10% solution of N-acetyl cysteine. Topical NAC is a well-tolerated medication that has many applications in ophthalmology including dry eye disease and meibomian gland dysfunction.

Label: NAC 20% group

Type: Active Comparator

Description: Subjects in this group will be treated with eye drops containing a 20% solution of N-acetyl cysteine. Topical NAC is a well-tolerated medication that has many applications in ophthalmology including dry eye disease and meibomian gland dysfunction.

Label: Placebo group

Type: Placebo Comparator

Description: Subjects in this group will be treated with a placebo (Visine Tears Dry Eye Relief artificial tears ophthalmic solution.)

Study Design Info

Allocation: Randomized

Intervention Model: Parallel Assignment

Intervention Model Description: Initially, 30 eyes from up to 30 participants will be randomized 1:1 to one of two groups, a group administering N-acetyl cysteine (NAC) 10% and a group administering Visine Tears Dry Eye Relief artificial tears ophthalmic solution (the placebo). After interim analysis of the study with 30 eyes, if a significant difference in the primary endpoint between NAC 10% and placebo is not found, an additional 15 eyes from up to 15 participants will be enrolled to investigate 20% NAC.

Primary Purpose: Treatment

Masking: Double (Participant, Investigator)

Masking Description: This is a double-blind trial, where neither the study participant nor the investigators will know to which treatment group the study participant has been assigned.

Source: ClinicalTrials.gov

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