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Innovating Ophthalmology: A Dialogue with Azura’s CEO

As Azura Ophthalmics strides forward in the field of ophthalmology, we had the opportunity to sit down with Marc Gleeson, the company’s CEO, to discuss their latest breakthroughs and future aspirations. Here’s a glimpse into our engaging conversation.

Breaking Ground in MGD Treatment
When asked about the recently completed Phase 2 study of AZR-MD-001, Marc emphasized its success in treating Meibomian Gland Dysfunction (MGD) and its impact on Contact Lens Discomfort. “The study met its primary endpoint, showing a significant improvement in Meibomian Glands Yielding Liquid Secretion (MGYLS), alongside secondary endpoints such as meibum quality and tear stability,” he shared.

But what really excites him? The ability of AZR-MD-001 to let patients comfortably wear their contact lenses again, for an extended period. “This is a critical need for patients dependent on contact lenses,” Marc stated.

Quality of Life at the Forefront
For patients grappling with MGD, AZR-MD-001 isn’t just a potential treatment; it could be a life-changer. “MGD leads to discomfort and reduced vision quality,” Marc explained. “Our data shows that AZR-MD-001 extends comfortable contact lens wear by three hours. That’s significant for patients’ quality of life.”

Azura’s Mission and Vision
Marc linked the recent results to Azura’s overarching mission. “Our goal is to tackle the root causes of ocular surface conditions. AZR-MD-001 is a major step in fulfilling that mission,” he affirmed. “This is the second positive confirmatory Phase 2 efficacy study of AZR-MD-001 to demonstrate statistically significant improvements across multiple sign and symptom endpoints in patients with MGD – bringing us closer to our ultimate goal of delivering a new therapeutic class of Ophthalmic Keratolytics to treat these underserved ophthalmic conditions.”

The Road Ahead: Phase 3 and Beyond
Looking forward, Marc discussed plans to engage with the FDA for Phase 3 development of AZR-MD-001. “We’ve got two confirmatory efficacy studies backing us, and we’re excited about the next steps,” he shared. Marc remains optimistic about their upcoming discussions with the FDA. “Our data analysis is underway, and we anticipate a collaborative pathway towards Phase 3 studies,” he said.

A New Era in Ophthalmic Treatment
AZR-MD-001 stands out for its innovative approach. “While others focus on symptoms, we’re targeting the root cause – blocked meibomian glands,” Marc pointed out. “Other companies developing new treatments for ocular surface diseases are typically treating just the symptoms or downstream effects of MGD and often have mixed results and patient satisfaction. By delivering a potential new therapeutic class of Ophthalmic Keratolytics, we are taking a different approach that addresses the root cause of many of these diseases – blocked meibomian glands.”

Marc believes the study results could revolutionize the field, especially for contact lens wearers. “Our approach could redefine the standard of care in treating Contact Lens Discomfort and other ocular surface diseases,” he stated.

Patient Impact: A Story of Comfort
Marc shared how the trial has already positively impacted patients. “In our study, we’ve seen significant improvements in comfortable wear time, particularly for women in their mid-40s who are often affected by Contact Lens Discomfort,” he said. “We’ve sought out feedback from many expert physicians, who have expressed that they believe patients will find an additional three hours of comfortable contact lens wear time over what they are usually able to achieve, very meaningful – especially those who live busy, active lives and are frustrated with prior contact lens use.”

The Power of Collaboration
Marc praised their partnerships, particularly with CUREator and Brandon BioCatalyst. “Their support has been crucial in exploring new patient populations and expanding our research,” he acknowledged.

Azura’s Future Vision
Finally, Marc outlined Azura’s future directions. “We’re exploring keratolytics and conjugates to target the source of ocular diseases, merging dermatology and ophthalmology,” he revealed.

Our conversation with Marc Gleeson ended on an inspiring note, with a clear vision of innovation and patient-centric care driving Azura Ophthalmics.

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