Skip to main content

New Diabetic Macular Edema Eye Drops Show Promising Results

Published: 5/30/23 9:15 am
By Arvind Sommi

Pharmaceutical company Oculis reported positive outcomes from a phase 3 trial for eye drops that treat diabetic macular edema. If approved, these eye drops have the potential to provide a safer, more effective, and less burdensome treatment option for patients.

Oculis, a global pharmaceutical company focused on eye care, has announced positive results from stage 1 of its phase 3 DIAMOND trial for eye drops (called OCS-01) that treat diabetic macular edema (DME)

DME is a serious complication caused by damage to nerves and blood vessels in the macula – the part of the eye responsible for sharp vision. Current treatments available for DME often require invasive procedures, such as ocular implants or injections. 

OCS-01, on the other hand, is a topical eye drop that utilizes Oculis' Optireach technology to deliver the medication to the retina, offering a more convenient treatment option.

“Since it is a topical agent, it also has the potential to be a first-line treatment in DME if approved. In short, I believe the impact of OCS-01 in DME could be a true game-changer,” David Boyer, a co-principal investigator for the trial and adjunct clinical professor of ophthalmology at the Keck School of Medicine, said in a press release.

The first stage of the phase 3 trial involved 148 patients who randomly received OCS-01 or a placebo. The results showed a significant improvement in visual acuity in the group treated with OCS-01. 

Visual acuity was measured using an Early Treatment Diabetic Retinopathy Study chart. After six weeks, participants using OCS-01 were able to read an average of seven additional letters on the chart compared to roughly three letters for those using a placebo.

The trial demonstrated that OCS-01 was well-tolerated, with no unexpected side effects. These positive results suggest that OCS-01 has the potential to become the first non-invasive, topical treatment for DME if approved.

OCS-01 eye drops will continue to be studied in the second stage of the DIAMOND trial, which will involve two global trials with approximately 350-450 patients each. The company plans to initiate stage 2 in the second half of 2023.

Arshad Khanani, another co-principal investigator and director of clinical research at Sierra Eye Associates, highlighted the meaningful improvements in visual clarity observed in patients treated with OCS-01. 

“As a non-invasive treatment that has shown these positive results, OCS-01 has the potential of benefitting a large number of patients with DME if approved,” he said. 

To learn more about diabetic macular edema, read our other articles:

What do you think?

About the authors

Arvind Sommi joined the diaTribe Foundation in 2021 after graduating with Phi Beta Kappa and honors from the University of Florida where he majored in Biology and minored in Sociology.... Read the full bio »