To report the subjective assessment of topical self-administered, cadaver-derived corneal epithelial stem cell supernatant for treatment of severe dry eye disease (DED).
Thirty-four eyes of 17 patients with advanced DED as defined by Standardized Patient Evaluation of Eye Dryness (SPEED TM) questionnaire ≥14, Ocular Surface Disease Index (OSDI©) score ≥40 and documented attempt of at least six conventional dry eye therapies were enrolled into a prospective clinical trial at a single private practice institution. Treatment consisted of patient self-administered topical instillation of the corneal epithelial stem cell-derived product four times daily in both eyes for 12 weeks. Patient-reported outcome measures (PROMs) were taken with the SPEED TM questionnaire (the main outcome variable), OSDI© score and visual analog score (VAS; UNC Dry Eye Management Scale©), and objective clinical measurements were taken with best-corrected visual acuity (BCVA), corneal topographic index measurements and tear film osmolarity. These measurements were compared at baseline versus the endpoint at completion of the 12-week treatment.
All 34 eyes tolerated the treatment without any adverse events or significant side effects. Compared with baseline, both the SPEED TM questionnaire and the VAS significantly improved at the conclusion of the 12-week treatment (p = 0.0054 and p = 0.0202, respectively). The OSDI© improved by an average of 10.9 points after the treatment but was not statistically significant (p = 0.1409). There were no significant changes in any of the objective clinical measurements. None of the study subjects failed to complete the treatment course, experienced decrease in any of the PROMs or lost one or more lines of BCVA during the follow-up period.