A major cause of blindness
Glaucoma is a disease of the optic nerve which, if left untreated, can lead to irreversible vision loss. It is currently considered to be one of the three leading causes of irreversible blindness worldwide. Glaucoma is frequently linked to elevated intraocular pressure (IOP) and is often due to blockage in the drainage system located in the front of the eye. Currently, reducing intraocular pressure remains the only way to slow the progression of the disease. Glaucoma affects millions of patients worldwide. About 3 million people in the United States between 40 and 80 years of age are affected by the most common form of glaucoma, open-angle glaucoma.
Current medications act by reducing IOP to slow the progression of the disease. It is generally accepted that every mmHg of IOP lowering results in a risk reduction disease progression of approximately 10%. Numerous eye drops are available that either decrease the amount of fluid produced in the eye or improve its flow out of the eye. 40% of patients fail to reach target IOP with existing monotherapies, risking disease progression and vision loss. Despite having well established first line therapies, including the standard of care, latanoprost, there remains an unmet need for therapy with a greater IOP-lowering efficacy that is both safe and well tolerated.