Flu season is a common time for cases involving the #1 cause of eye infections globally.
Okogen, a biotech company developing ophthalmic therapeutics, has announced that The Royal Victorian Eye and Ear Hospital is actively seeking patients for a clinical study into viral conjunctivitis, the #1 cause of eye infections globally.
The Phase II clinical study, known as the RUBY Trial, will evaluate the safety and efficacy of Okogen’s lead candidate, OKG-0301, in the treatment of the highly contagious adenoviral conjunctivitis, affecting up to 25 million people worldwide each year.
The Royal Victorian Eye and Ear Hospital in partnership with the Centre for Eye Research Australia (CERA) is one of seven trial sites involved in RUBY, and expects strong enrolment given the already high rates of viral infections already this winter.
“Viral conjunctivitis is a very common and severe form of conjunctivitis, and it typically increases in prevalence across Australia during the winter flu season. Up until now, there has been no useful treatment. Viral conjunctivitis is a particularly severe infection that causes a lot of suffering and can lead to long term scarring of the eye, so if you develop a red, painful eye with lid swelling consult a health professional immediately, ” said Mark Daniell, Head of the Cornea Unit at The Royal Victorian Eye and Ear Hospital, and Principal Investigator at CERA.
While bacterial conjunctivitis is typically treated with antibiotics, these drugs do not work in treating viral forms of the infection. Despite the high incidence of viral conjunctivitis, there are no approved therapies for the disease.
Viral conjunctivitis can persist for up to three weeks, and patients are highly contagious for 10-14 days. This puts families and communities, including businesses, schools and daycare centers, at risk for rapid spread of the infection and persistence of the virus within the population.
To learn more about the RUBY Trial, visit rubytrial.com.au