A new treatment for keratoconus, called corneal collagen crosslinking (CXL), was approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration on April 18, 2016. The approval was granted to Avedro, Inc. for Photrexa Viscous, Photrexa and the KXL System. Collagen crosslinking uses a combination of riboflavin (a form of vitamin B2) and ultraviolet light. When use in the approved fashion, the goal of crosslinking is to make the cornea stronger, to decrease the natural progression of keratoconus.
Dr. Peter S. Hersh, M.D., founder of the Corneal and Laser Eye Institute and its CLEI Center of Keratoconus was medical monitor of the clinical trial which led to this approval.
Keratoconus, a disease of the cornea, occurs in the overall population at a rate of about one in 2000. It often begins in teenagers or those in their 20’s. The disease results in thinning of the corneal tissues. Consequently, the cornea bulges out of its smooth, clear, dome-like structure, and assumes a more conical and irregular configuration. This irregularity tends to worsen over time.
Because of this change in shape, the cornea loses its ability to form a clear image in the eye and the patient’s vision can decrease drastically. Often, in the past, patient’s required corneal transplantation as the keratoconus worsened. CXL offers the hope of slowing keratoconus progression and thus avoiding the need for transplantion.
About the CLEI Center for Keratoconus
Dr. Peter S. Hersh, M.D, director of the Cornea and Laser Eye Institute inaugurated its subspecialty dedicated CLEI Center for Keratoconus in 2002. Dr. Hersh is a graduate of Princeton University, Johns Hopkins Medical School, and Harvard Medical School’s ophthalmology residency and corneal surgery fellowship programs, The mission of the CLEI Center for Keratoconus is to provide the keratoconus patient with expert and state-of-the-art diagnostic, therapeutic, and surgical services covering all aspects of keratoconic care. With doctors and surgeons expert in corneal disease, specialty contact lens fittings, and the full range of innovative corneal and refractive surgery procedures for the treatment of keratoconus, patients receive examinations to fully assess their problem and can be offered the best treatment options available. With a full-time clinical research director, the CLEI Center for Keratoconus is also at the forefront of research and innovation in keratoconus treatment. In addition to monitoring the study leading to recent approval of the crosslinking technique, the Center performs a number of research studies and clinical trials designed to afford the KC patient the most up-to-date and advanced care available.
CLEI Center for Keratoconus
Cornea and Laser Eye Institute
300 Frank W. Burr Blvd
Teaneck, NJ 07666