Eversight receives EBAA research grant targeted at improving cornea transplants

May 26, 2017 – Eversight received a $5,160 grant from the Eye Bank Association of America (EBAA) for research being conducted to reduce and prevent fungal infection in cornea transplants.

Although the underlying reason has yet to be identified, global incidence of fungal infections are steadily rising and these hard-to-treat infections can cause devastating effects and even total blindness.

EBAA awarded funds to five research proposals focused on the safety, efficacy and cost-effectiveness of supplementing cornea preservation solutions with an antifungal agent.

“Even if it is one patient a year affected by fungal infection, it is our duty to seek every method possible to ensure the safety of transplant patients,” said Dr. Gregory Grossman, Eversight Director of Research.

Early studies have shown that adding the antifungal medication amphotericin B to the preservation solution for corneas is an effective way to stop the growth of candida species, the primary cause of fungal infections in cornea transplants.

What is still needed, however, is a comprehensive cost-effectiveness analysis that compares current practices to when preservation solution is augmented with amphotericin.

“The cost of antifungal additives has previously been viewed as cost prohibitive,” Dr. Grossman said. “But we believe that performing a robust analysis which also takes into account the global disease burden, medical intervention costs and expected patient outcomes provides a fuller picture of the individual and societal costs of this issue.”

The research will be conducted by a diverse Eversight-led team that includes Dr. Grossman, Susan Hurlbert and Kristen McCoy, Dr. Roni Shtein from the University of Michigan Kellogg Eye Center, Dr. Pankaj Gupta of University Hospitals of Cleveland, and Trent Tsun-Kang Chiang from Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine.

Results from the study will be reported in May 2018.