Glaucoma is a leading cause of irreversible vision-loss worldwide. Graybug Vision is developing novel therapeutics for the treatment of increased intraocular pressure (IOP) (increased pressure inside the eye) and treatments that may help prevent injury to the nerves in the eye that are associated with vision.
Specifically, our technology is focused on treatment of primary open-angle glaucoma (POAG) and ocular hypertension (OHT). The only known treatment to prevent or reduce the risk of vision-loss POAG and OHT is to reduce the pressure in the eye with medicated eye drops.
The cause for increase in IOP is not fully understood. Several large studies have shown that eye pressure is a major risk for damaging the optic nerve. In the front of the eye is a space called the anterior chamber. A clear fluid (called aqueous humor) flows continuously in and out of the chamber and nourishes nearby tissues. The fluid leaves the chamber at the open angle where the cornea and iris meet. When the fluid reaches the angle, it flows through a spongy network, like a drain, and leaves the eye. In POAG, the fluid passes too slowly through the meshwork drain, causing the fluid to build up and increasing pressure in the eye that may damage the optic nerve. When the optic nerve is damaged from increased pressure, vision loss may result. Currently, the most common form of treatment is eye drops that contain drugs to lower the pressure in the eye that must be administered every day. However, many patients have difficulty using or remembering to administer the eye drops. Graybug is developing technology whereby the physician periodically administers the drug instead (“dropless” technology) with the intent to reduce the pressure in the eye over several months. Our goal is to reduce the need for eye drops to manage the disease.
OHT is similar to POAG except detectable damage to the optic nerve has not yet occurred. Patients with OHT are often treated with the same eye drops that are used to manage POAG. There is increased risk for the patient to develop POAG if left untreated.