Australian researchers are investigating whether a potential new eye drop solution could one day replace surgery for people with pterygium, informally referred to as “surfer’s eye”.
Pterygium is a fleshy, triangular tissue growth that starts on the clear tissue of the eye and can spread towards the centre (cornea).
While the cause of surfer’s eye is unknown, researchers believe genetic and environmental factors including exposure to sun, dust or wind could be responsible for its development.
A pterygium can cross the optical centre of the cornea and cause impaired vision as a result. The only treatment currently offered involves surgery to remove the growth.
More than one in every 100 Australians will experience a pterygium, with the rate rising to 12 out of every 100 men over the age of 60.
Taiwan-based biopharmaceutical company Allgenesis Biotherapeutics Inc has developed the eye drops and enlisted six sites around Australia to help test the treatment.
The clinical trial will test whether eye drops can reduce eye redness associated with the condition in the hope of eliminating surgery as a treatment option.
The Australian investigators include Dr Andrew Narita from the Geelong Eye Centre, Dr Michael Jamieson (VIC), Dr Michael Shui (VIC), Professor Minas Coroneo (NSW), Dr Jean-Louis deSousa (WA) and Associate Professor Leo Hartley (QLD).
The SURPH (Study of the Response to AG-86893 in patients with Pterygium Hyperemia) Trial, is recruiting participants until May 31.
For more information, email Sandra Spencer on firstname.lastname@example.org or phone 0411 163 356.