First new glaucoma treatment in 25 years showing promise

glaucoma treatment

A new glaucoma treatment has recently been launched by Santen, and so far it is showing promising results. Roclanda, is the first new treatment for glaucoma in the UK for 25 years. An exciting development in glaucoma care, this new treatment option could help save the sight of many thousands living with this serious eye condition.

Currently, Mr Anthony Khawaja sits on a global expert committee, advising pharmaceutical company Santen on best practices for the use of Roclanda. Here, he explains how it works, the benefits of the new drug, as well as the risks.

Roclanda – How it works

Roclanda is an eye drop that contains the combination of a Rho kinase inhibitor (Netarsudil) and the commonly used glaucoma drug, latanoprost. It works by increasing the outflow of aqueous fluid from the eyes in the conventional way (through the trabecular meshwork).

Usually, medications for glaucoma increase outflow through other areas of the eye (unconventional), or reduce the amount of fluid the eye produces. By opening up this conventional fluid outflow pathway, this treatment compliments the other commonly used treatments in glaucoma and therefore may have some particular benefits.

Roclanda – Key benefits

For patients already taking a number of other glaucoma medications, there is evidence that shows Roclanda can still have a strong effect.

The key benefits of the new treatment are:

  • Convenience – only once daily dosage required
  • Effective even when used in combination with other glaucoma treatments
  • Lowers pressure even when the starting pressure is low

Roclanda – Side effects

The risks associated with Roclanda are generally mild to moderate, which is why it is authorised for use in the EU. The main side-effect is conjunctival hyperaemia (red eye). However, this is not a serious side-effect, or vision threatening and can be easily resolved by ceasing the treatment.

Of course, for some patients, medications alone will not resolve their condition and they will require glaucoma surgery. However, there have also been a lot of recent innovations in glaucoma surgery. The PreserFlo Microshunt is a particularly effective and less invasive surgery option. Anthony is currently chairing a panel of European experts to report the best practices for this device.