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REVIEW – New and emerging health technologies for corneal disorders


Eye Disease

September 2016

The NIHR Horizon Scanning Research and Intelligence Centre (HSRIC) has completed a horizon scanning review that identifies new and emerging technologies and procedures for the treatment of corneal disorders. This work was undertaken in response to a question raised by the James Lind Alliance Priority Setting Partnership on Sight Loss and Vision.
Corneal disorders may be acquired or congenital. Acquired disorders include age-related degeneration of the cornea (e.g. Arcus senilis, Vogt’s limbal girdle, and Cornea guttata); other degeneration of the cornea (e.g. Spheroidal degeneration; Salzmann’s nodular degeneration; Crocodile shagreen);  corneal ectasia (e.g. keratoconus, pellucid marginal degeneration,  and keratoglobus); keratitis; and keratopathy. Congenital disorders include abnormalities in corneal size (e.g. megalocornea, microcornea); shape (e.g. cornea plana, keratoglobus); corneal dystrophies (relating to the tissue level affected, epithelial, stromal or endothelial); and corneal opacities (diffuse, focal and central,  or focal and peripheral).
We searched bibliographic, horizon scanning and commercial databases, clinical trial registries, conference proceedings, industry news sites and relevant groups and networks for new and emerging approaches for the treatment of corneal disorders. We included technologies in late phase clinical trials and all novel procedures in clinical development. We engaged an expert group, and the charity Fight for Sight convened two patient focus groups, to assess the innovation, impact, barriers to adoption and evidence base of the technologies identified.
We identified 130 products in clinical development, of which 33 were being developed by a commercial developer and 31 were being developed by a European academic institution or hospital. These 64 technologies and procedures, which included autologous and allogeneic regenerative medicines, may have the potential to reach the health market in the UK in the next few years.
A summary version of this Review can be found at www.hsric.nihr.ac.uk/topics/summary-corneal-disorders

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