UIC researcher awarded $10.15M to develop antibody-based dry eye treatment

Researchers at the University of Illinois Chicago, led by University of Illinois Cancer Center member Dr. Sandeep Jain, have been awarded a five-year, $10.15 million grant to develop a broad-spectrum immunomodulatory eye drop to treat patients with severe dry eye and ocular surface disease due to inflammatory and immune system disorders.

Jain, a member of the UI Cancer Center’s Translational Oncology program and a professor of ophthalmology at UIC’s College of Medicine, received the grant, titled “Translational Research Program to Develop Novel Therapies and Devices for the Treatment of Visual System Disorders,” from the National Eye Institute, one of the National Institutes of Health.

More than 14% of the American population older than 50 experience dry eye, Jain said. Dry eye can be caused by medical conditions that include rheumatoid arthritis, lupus, thyroid disease, and sarcoidosis. Aging is also a common cause.