Treatment with a biologic response modifier (BRM) offers a more targeted approach to immunosuppressive therapy for uveitis than standard immunomodulatory drugs.
Reviewed by Eric B. Suhler, MD, MPH
Quoting a line from “Forrest Gump,” Eric B. Suhler, MD, MPH, suggested that use of novel biologic response modifiers (BRMs) for uveitis in the earlier stages of study may be “like a box of chocolates.” “You never know what you are going to get,” explained Dr. Suhler, chief of ophthalmology, VA Portland Health Care System, and professor of ophthalmology and public health, Oregon Health and Science University, Portland, OR.
One BRM is FDA approved for the treatment of uveitis, and it is hoped others will follow. However, more experience with this therapeutic category is needed before BRMs are adopted as first-line options, Dr. Suhler noted.
Compared with standard systemic immunosuppressive drugs, BRMs represent more specific, targeted therapies with the potential for fewer side effects and greater effectiveness. In addition to the approved BRM, a number of biologics are being investigated as treatment for uveitis with some promising results.
Dr. Suhler cautioned, however, that early findings are not always confirmed in larger studies, and with some of the biologics there is a need for more long-term safety information.
Eric B. Suhler, MD, MPH
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This article was adapted from Dr. Suhler’s presentation during Uveitis Subspecialty Day at the 2018 meeting of the American Academy of Ophthalmology. He is a consultant to, receives lecture fees, and/or receives grant support from AbbVie, Aldeyra, EyeGate, EyePoint, Gilead Sciences, and Santen, and received previous support relevant to this article from Centocor and Genentech.