Oxervate, first rhNGF to treat neurotrophic keratitis

October 10, 2018 0 By CH Unnikrishnan

The US FDA has approved Oxervate (cenegermin-bkbj ophthalmic solution) to treat neurotrophic keratitis (NK), Dompé announced.

Neurotrophic keratitis, characterised by corneal scarring and vision loss, is a rare orphan condition.

Oxervate represents the first-ever topical biologic medication approved in ophthalmology, and is the first ever application of a human NGF as drug or treatment, according to the company.

Oxervate is based on cenegermin-bkbj, a novel recombinant human nerve growth factor (rhNGF) that is structurally identical to the nerve growth factor (NGF) protein that is made in the human body, including in the ocular tissues. The endogenous protein supports corneal integrity though several mechanisms.

NGF acts directly on corneal epithelial cells to stimulate their growth and survival. In addition, NGF is known to bind receptors on lacrimal glands to promote tear production, which may provide the eye with lubrication and natural protection from pathogens and injury. The protein also has been shown experimentally to support corneal innervation, which is lost in neurotrophic keratitis.