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    Dry eye diagnostic shows early promise, points to influential factors

    Take-home message: This multi-assay test shows high sensitivity and predictive value, which can help distinguish inflammatory dry eye from other types of the condition.

    Reviewed by George Ousler, MD

    Clinicians trying to better diagnose dry eye could get help from a new diagnostic system. BioLight Life Sciences recently reported positive results for TeaRx, a multi-assay test intended to evaluate multiple components of the tear film. The company said its novel diagnostic shows high sensitivity, high specificity, and high positive predictive value, which are at the higher claimed range of existing dry eye tests.

    “We are developing a point-of-care diagnostic test that can identify one or more of the underlying causes of dry eye syndrome in a particular patient,” said BioLight CEO Suzana Nahum Zilberberg. “As well as being very useful to clinicians in diagnosing the causes of dry eye and monitoring treatment, this tool could be useful for pharmaceutical companies that need a companion diagnostic to accompany novel products and for clinical research efforts seeking to develop new drug candidates.”

    Existing dry eye tests can identify a single factor related to dry eye such as hyper osmolarity (TearLab) or elevated MMP9 levels (RPS InflammaDry), noted George Ousler, MD, Director of Dry Eye Research for Ora.

    “Dry eye syndrome is multifactorial,” he said. “There are a number of underlying etiologies. We know, for example, that the tear film has three major components, the lipid, aqueous, and mucin layers. You can have deficiencies in any one layer or in multiple layers. There can be corneal sensitivity issues as well as influential factors such as adverse, environmental conditions, visual tasking, systemic medications that are known to cause drying and more. It is relatively straightforward to conclude that the patient has a dry eye problem, but often quite difficult to clarify the particular factors at play in any individual patient. Having a diagnostic tool that could provide that clarification could be quite helpful.”

    Using multiple assays

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