NOV03 for Signs and Symptoms of Dry Eye Disease Associated With Meibomian Gland Dysfunction: The Randomized Phase 3 MOJAVE Study

Am J Ophthalmol. 2023 Aug:252:265-274. doi: 10.1016/j.ajo.2023.03.008. Epub 2023 Mar 21.


Purpose: To evaluate the efficacy and safety of NOV03 (perfluorohexyloctane) ophthalmic drop for the treatment of signs and symptoms of dry eye disease (DED) associated with meibomian gland dysfunction (MGD).

Design: Randomized, double-masked, controlled trial.

Methods: Patients ≥18 years of age with a history of DED and signs of MGD were randomly assigned 1:1 to treatment with NOV03 or hypotonic saline (0.6%) 4 times daily for 8 weeks. The primary sign and symptom endpoints were change from baseline to week 8 in total corneal fluorescein staining (tCFS; National Eye Institute scale) and eye dryness score (0-100 visual analog scale), respectively.

Results: A total of 620 patients (NOV03, n = 311; saline, n = 309) were randomized and treated. Least-squares (LS) mean change from baseline to week 8 was statistically significantly greater for NOV03 compared with saline for both tCFS (-2.3 vs -1.1; LS mean treatment difference, -1.2 [95% confidence interval -1.7 to -0.8]; P < .001) and visual analog scale dryness score (-29.4 vs -19.2; LS mean treatment difference, -10.2 [95% CI -14.4 to -6.1]; P < .001), with statistically significant between-group differences observed as early as week 2. The incidence of ocular adverse events was similar for NOV03 (12.9%) and saline (12.3%). There were no serious adverse events and no adverse events leading to treatment discontinuation.

Conclusions: In this randomized controlled trial of patients with DED associated with MGD, NOV03 significantly reduced both signs and symptoms of DED compared with hypotonic saline control. NOV03 was well tolerated, with an adverse event profile similar to that of saline.

Trial registration: NCT04567329.

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Clinical Trial, Phase III
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Administration, Ophthalmic
  • Dry Eye Syndromes* / diagnosis
  • Dry Eye Syndromes* / drug therapy
  • Dry Eye Syndromes* / etiology
  • Fluorescein
  • Humans
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Meibomian Gland Dysfunction*
  • Meibomian Glands
  • Ophthalmic Solutions / therapeutic use
  • Tears


  • Fluorescein
  • Ophthalmic Solutions

Associated data