September 28, 2011
Potential Treatment For ‘Pink Eye’ Epidemic
Scientists are reporting discovery of a potential new drug for epidemic keratoconjunctivitis (EKC) – sometimes called "pink eye" – a highly infectious eye disease that may occur in 15 million to 20 million people annually in the United States alone. Their report describing an innovative new "molecular wipe" that sweeps up viruses responsible for EKC appears in ACS's Journal of Medicinal Chemistry.
Ulf Ellervik and colleagues note that there is no approved treatment for EKC, which is caused by viruses from the same family responsible for the common cold. EKC affects the cornea, the clear, dome-shaped tissue that forms the outer layer of the eye. It causes redness, pain, tearing, and may reduce visions for months. "Patients are usually recommended to stay home from work or school, resulting in substantial economic losses," the scientists write.
The authors acknowledge funding from Adenovir Pharma AB, The Swedish Research Council, The Crafoord Foundation, and The Royal Physiographic Society in Lund.
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