Ocular Therapeutix announced that the FDA has approved Dextenza (dexamethasone ophthalmic insert) 0.4mg for intracanalicular use for the treatment of ocular pain following ophthalmic surgery.
Dextenza is the first FDA-approved intracanalicular insert delivering dexamethasone to treat post-surgical ocular pain for up to 30 days with a single administration. The approval of Dextenza was based on demonstrated efficacy in two randomized, vehicle-controlled phase 3 studies in which a statistically significantly higher incidence of subjects were pain free at day 8 post-cataract surgery compared to the vehicle control group and safety in the two phase 3 studies as well as a third randomized, vehicle-controlled phase 2 study.
“We are extremely pleased to announce the approval of Dextenza, coming so soon after our pre-approval inspection and approximately one month ahead of the PDUFA date,” Antony Mattessich, President and Chief Executive Officer of Ocular Therapeutix, said in a company news release. “Just over a year ago, we set out to augment our scientific and formulation expertise with individuals who have the skills and experience to create a first-class team to get Dextenza approved and become a commercial stage biopharmaceutical company. We believe this approval is a major external validation of the drug delivery technology platform, and also of the transformation that has taken place at Ocular. While we are excited by the approval of our first drug product, our goal has always been to bring Dextenza to as many patients as possible in the near term and to revolutionize ophthalmic drug delivery by making drops obsolete. We now turn our efforts towards the successful commercial launch of Dextenza.”
The company believes the delivery profile represents a differentiated and potentially transformational new product for patients and physicians. For patients, Dextenza offers the convenience of a full course of post-surgical steroid treatment with a physician’s one-time placement of a single intracanalicular insert. Dextenza has the potential to replace a complex eye drop regimen that under the current standard of care requires up to 70 topical ocular steroid drops.
“Compliance with taking eye drops after eye surgery is very challenging for patients and a concern for surgeons,” Michael Goldstein, MD, Chief Medical Officer, said in the news release. “The approval of Dextenza offers surgeons the opportunity to treat patients with a preservative-free steroid after surgery with the placement of a single drug insert. With this product, patients may be liberated from having to deal with the burdensome regimen of using steroid eye drops after ophthalmic surgery.”
In connection with the commercial launch of Dextenza, Ocular Therapeutix also submitted an application for transitional pass-through payment status after receiving FDA approval and intends to submit an application for a J-code ahead of the January 2019 deadline.