A Randomized, Phase 2 Study of 24-h Efficacy and Tolerability of Netarsudil in Ocular Hypertension and Open-Angle Glaucoma

Ophthalmol Ther. 2021 Mar;10(1):89-100. doi: 10.1007/s40123-020-00322-1. Epub 2020 Nov 26.


Introduction: Pharmacotherapy to lower intraocular pressure (IOP) is a mainstay of treatment aimed at delaying progression of visual field loss in ocular hypertension (OHT) and open-angle glaucoma (OAG), but some topical treatments are less effective in controlling IOP at night. Peak IOP may be related to glaucoma progression and can occur outside office hours. A phase 2 study was conducted to evaluate the IOP-lowering efficacy of netarsudil across the diurnal and nocturnal periods.

Methods: This was a randomized, double-masked, single-center, vehicle-controlled, 9-day study. After washout of any prior ocular hypotensive agents, 12 patients with OHT or OAG underwent baseline IOP assessment at 15:00, 18:00, 21:00, 00:00, 03:00, 06:00, 09:00, and 12:00 h on day 1/day 2. Participants were then randomized in a 2:1 ratio to netarsudil ophthalmic solution 0.02% (n = 8) or vehicle (n = 4) for 7 days of self-administered dosing each evening. IOP was assessed at the same time points on day 8/day 9. All measurements were conducted with a Perkins tonometer in habitual positions by day (seated) and at night (supine).

Results: Baseline mean 24-h IOP was 22.4 mmHg in the netarsudil group and 22.9 mmHg in the vehicle group. Netarsudil was associated with a reduction in mean nocturnal IOP (measurements at 21:00, 00:00, 03:00, 06:00 h) of 3.5 mmHg, which was significant relative to baseline nocturnal IOP (P < 0.001) and the reduction in the vehicle group (0.4 mmHg; P < 0.001 vs. netarsudil). Reduction in mean diurnal IOP with netarsudil (3.5 mmHg) was the same as the nocturnal reduction and statistically significant versus baseline (P < 0.001) and the vehicle group (0.9 mmHg; P < 0.01). The magnitude of IOP reductions with netarsudil was consistent at each time point assessed over the 24-h period. No adverse events were reported.

Conclusion: Netarsudil exhibited consistent IOP-lowering efficacy over a 24-h period in this short-term study.

Trial registration: Clinicaltrials.gov identifier: NCT02874846.

Keywords: 24-h; Clinical study; Intraocular pressure; Netarsudil; Nocturnal; Ocular hypertension; Open-angle glaucoma.

Plain Language Summary

When pressure inside the eye (called intraocular pressure [IOP]) builds up, a patient may develop a condition known as glaucoma, in which damage to the optic nerve and possibly irreversible vision loss occur. Glaucoma can be preceded in some patients by a condition called ocular hypertension (OHT). Patients with OHT and the most common type of glaucoma (open-angle glaucoma [OAG]) should be treated to lower their IOP and decrease the risk for progressive visual loss. Several studies that have evaluated 24-h IOP control have indicated that some eye drops lower IOP less effectively at night than during the day. A pilot study was conducted in 12 patients with OHT or OAG to evaluate netarsudil’s IOP lowering effect during the day and at night. After a week of treatment with netarsudil or a similar eye drop that did not contain the active drug, patients who took netarsudil experienced the same decrease in IOP at night as during the day. IOP was statistically lower with netarsudil than with the drug-free comparator both during the day and at night. Although this was a small study in 12 patients, the results are of interest because they suggest that netarsudil might consistently reduce IOP over a 24-h period.

Associated data

  • ClinicalTrials.gov/NCT02874846