Topical Cross-Linked HA-Based Hydrogel Accelerates Closure of Corneal Epithelial Defects and Repair of Stromal Ulceration in Companion Animals.

15 Jan 2018

Abstract Purpose: The purpose of this study was to determine the safety of topical ocular administration of a cross-linked, modified hyaluronic acid (xCMHA-S) hydrogel, and its effectiveness in accelerating repair and closure of acute and nonhealing corneal ulcers in companion animals as a veterinary treatment and its utility as a model for therapy in human corneal ulceration. Methods: Two concentrations of xCMHA-S (0.33% and 0.75%) were topically administered to the eyes of rabbits six times daily for 28 days to assess safety. Then, 30 dogs and 30 cats with spontaneous acute corneal ulcers were treated with either xCMHA-S (0.75%) or a non–cross-linked hyaluronic acid (HA) solution (n = 15 per group for each species), three times daily until the ulcer had healed. Finally, 25 dogs with persistent nonhealing corneal ulcers were treated with xCMHA-S (0.75%) twice daily until the ulcer had healed. Results: Both concentrations of the xCMHA-S hydrogel were well tolerated, safe, and nontoxic in the 28-day exaggerated dosing study in healthy rabbits. Topically applied xCMHA-S significantly accelerated closure of acute corneal stromal ulcers in dogs and cats compared with a non–cross-linked HA solution. Further, topical administration of the xCMHA-S aided in closure of nonhealing corneal stromal ulcers in dogs. Conclusions: Hyaluronic acid has previously been shown to aid in corneal wound repair. This study demonstrates that a cross-linked, modified HA hydrogel provides further benefit by accelerating time to corneal wound closure compared to a non–cross-linked HA solution in companion animals, and therefore may be beneficial in fulfilling an unmet need in humans.