Novaliq's NOV03 Eye Drops for Dry Eye and MGD Treatment
Recently, Bausch Health Companies and Bausch and Lomb have acquired an exclusive license to market Novaliq’s new investigative dry eye medication, NOV03 (perfluorohexyloctane), in the United States and Canadian markets. Currently undergoing Phase 3 clinical trials, NOV03 is being investigated for its benefits in those with dry eye disease, and particularly in those suffering from posterior blepharitis, or meibomian gland dysfunction (MGD).
How is this medication different from other prescription eye medications on the market? Perfluorohexyloctane is an innovative, proprietary medication that is water-free, preservative-free, and based on Novaliq's patented EyeSol® technology. This is the world’s first water-free eye drop technology, and there’s nothing else like it. I absolutely love that more and more companies are focused on dry eye disease, something that we know affects tens of millions of people. And not only are they focused on dry eye, but they’re focused on MGD -- one of the main contributors to dry eye disease.
What is MGD?
Meibomian Gland Dysfunction is a common disorder which affects the meibomian glands, or oil glands, within the eyelids. It is also sometimes known as posterior blepharitis, because it affects the back portion of the eyelids where the meibomian glands reside. When these small glands are inhibited in any way, via obstruction, stagnation, or other abnormality, the glands cannot produce the proper quality or quantity of oil needed for the eyes to be comfortable. Over time, this issue leads to atrophy of the glands and dry eye disease due to an increase in evaporation of the tear film coating the eyes.
Up until now, no pharmaceutical medications address dry eye disease due to MGD. So, this is exciting that Novaliq's patented EyeSol® technology is being investigated in this new medication that we hope hits the market in the next few years.
Who is Novoliq?
According to their website, “Novaliq is a pharmaceutical company focusing on the development and commercialization of first- and best-in-class ocular therapeutics based on EyeSol®, the first and only water-free technology worldwide for ophthalmology products. EyeSol® is designed to unfold the full potential of eye care treatments.”
In this particular investigative medication, NOV03, the patented technology has the potential to increase surface time on the eyes, increase coverage of the eyes, and overall provide a medication that works more quickly and effectively. Thus far, clinical trials have shown promising results with NOV03 hitting the endpoint of improvement in fluorescein staining in Phase 2 trials. In addition to this, symptoms of those participating were much improved.
Alternative Treatments for Posterior Blepharitis
Since there is currently no topical prescription medication available for MGD, a few other things can be very important in treatment. First of all, start taking a triglyceride-based omega-3 supplement if you’re not already. These supplements are formulated to be more bioavailable and less disruptive to your GI system when taken, potentially making them more effective. High quality omega-3 supplements are important because they help bring the meibum (oils of the tear film) back to a more unsaturated state, meaning it will be liquid at body temperature. This helps prevent stagnation and blockage of the meibomian glands and decreases the chances of evaporative dry eye disease.
Once the oils are no longer hardened and stagnant, heat is important. Although controversial for those with rosacea, a warm compress can help to keep the oils of the glands moving and may be beneficial for those with MGD.
Eyelid hygiene is also important here, because if biofilm is able to build up over and into the meibomian glands, it’s got the potential to increase the severity of posterior blepharitis. This can make it much more difficult to treat. We recommend washing the face daily with a tea tree based soap and then following that with a hypochlorous acid eyelid cleanser.
As someone who has tried a multitude of medications and treatments for dry eye, I’m excited to see what this new medication can do for patients. Currently, you can find this medication in other countries, including Australia/New Zealand (NovaTears®) and Europe (EvoTears®). Hopefully, you’ll see it soon in the US and Canada.