UAE: Patient Treated With New Drug For Severe Vision-Threatening Disease In Abu Dhabi Hospital


(MENAFN- Khaleej Times) Published: Mon 18 Sep 2023, 3:59 PM

A patient at Abu Dhabi's sheikh Shakhbout Medical City has been successfully treated for a severe sight-threatening thyroid eye disease (TED) with a US Food and Drug Administration (FDA)-approved new medication.

The innovative treatment addresses the disease's root cause and goes beyond treating the symptoms of the autoimmune condition.

Initially, the patient came to the hospital with issues of blurry vision and pain in both of his eyes. He had constant red and watery eyes, which impacted his vision and quality of life. He was referred to Dr Habibullah Eatamadi, consultant oculoplastic and ophthalmic surgeon, and Dr Ohood Almazrouie, oculoplastic and ophthalmic surgeon, who conducted tests and examinations and confirmed the diagnosis of severe sight-threatening TED.

Dr Habibullah Eatamadi

After discussing different options, the patient agreed to be treated with Teprotumumab-trbw - the only FDA-approved medication to treat the disease. SSMC, which operates one of the largest ophthalmology units in the UAE for complex eye conditions, has secured and provides the medication, which reduces the effects of this debilitating autoimmune disorder.

Teprotumumab-trbw, which is a monoclonal antibody therapy, works by blocking the action of certain proteins in the body. As a result, the inflammation subsides, resulting in improvement in vision, pain, redness, swelling, double vision, and bulgy eyes.

“Introducing this much-needed medication to the region presents patients suffering from TED with an effective solution to their condition. By making the treatment available at SSMC, we are contributing to reducing the risk of patients facing irreversible eye damage. Moreover, what makes this medication truly unique is its ability to treat the cause of the disease and not just the symptoms of TED,” Dr Eatamadi said.

Following the treatment, the patient has made notable progress in his recovery journey and experienced a substantial improvement in his overall well-being and ability to manage his daily functions.

Symptoms of TED

TED, also known as Graves' orbitopathy or thyroid-associated orbitopathy, is an autoimmune condition characterised by inflammation and swelling of the muscles and fat behind the eyes.

TED is estimated to affect 155 to 250 people per 100,000 of the overall population worldwide. Symptoms can be mild, moderate, or severe and sight-threatening. These include irritation, light sensitivity, gritty sensation in the eyes, excessive tearing, swelling of the eyelids, redness, and irritation, pressure behind the eyes, double vision, eye bulging, and in more serious cases the disease can lead to loss of vision. In addition to having a significant impact on patients' quality of life, the disease changes the eyes' appearance and is disfiguring.

The clinical management of the disease requires the involvement of multiple specialists, including ophthalmologists, endocrinologists, immunologists, ENT specialists, and pharmacists, as well as a dedicated team providing logistical support to patients and doctors.

“SSMC boasts a team of exceptionally skilled clinical pharmacists, who play a pivotal role in the evaluation and implementation of cutting-edge advancements and therapeutic approaches. We are committed to providing pioneering medicines to all patients in the most effective and compassionate way,” Marleine Bejjani Moukarzel, director of Pharmacy, underlined.

SSMC is one of the UAE's largest hospitals for serious and complex care and a joint-venture partnership between Abu Dhabi Health Services Company (SEHA) and the US' Mayo Clinic.

Dr Matthew Gettman, chief medical officer, at SSMC, added:“Introducing novel treatments that address patients' needs will always be an absolute priority for SSMC. We remain committed to the provision of exceptional health care and work tirelessly to provide integrated and progressive solutions for patients in the region and beyond.”

Dr Matthew Gettman

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Khaleej Times

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