Subconjunctival Sirolimus-Loaded Liposomes Reduce Dry Eye Signs, Symptoms

Close up of a doctor doing an eye exam on his patient
Patients treated with the therapeutic saw improvements in corneal/conjunctival staining, lipid layer interferometry, meibomian gland dropout.

This article is part of Ophthalmology Advisor’s Dry Eye Disease In-Depth coverage from the 2021 meeting of the American Academy of Ophthalmology, held in New Orleans from November 12 to 15, 2021. The team at Ophthalmology Advisor will be reporting on a variety of the research presented by the dry eye disease experts at the AAO. Check back for more from the AAO 2021 Meeting.


Subconjunctival sirolimus-loaded liposomes appear to be efficacious in reducing signs and symptoms of dry eye in patients with dry eye disease, according to research presented at the annual meeting of the American Academy of Ophthalmology (AAO 2021) held November 12 to 15. 

The investigators conducted a randomized phase 2 clinical trial to evaluate the efficacy of a novel liposomal formulation of sirolimus for treatment in patients with dry eye.

The study included 19 patients, with a total of 38 eyes. Patients were assigned to the control group (9 patients; 18 eyes) that received a sham treatment or the sirolimus group (10 patients; 20 eyes) that received the sirolimus-loaded liposome treatment. The investigators measured subjective (Ocular Surface Disease Index, OSDI) and objective (corrected distance visual acuity, conjunctival hyperemia, tear osmolarity, Schirmer test, corneal/conjunctival staining, and matrix metalloproteinase-9) parameters to evaluate efficacy. 

In the sirolimus group, OSDI scores changed from 62.19±6.07 to 37.8±17.81 (P = .0024). In the control group, OSDI scores changed from 60.02±14.2 to 36.02 ±20.70 (P = .01). The sirolimus group, but not the control group, also showed significant differences in all other evaluated outcomes (corneal/conjunctival staining score, P = .0015); lipid layer interferometry, P =.006; and inferior meibomian gland dropout, P =.038). 

“Subconjunctival sirolimus could be effective in reducing both signs and symptoms of dry eye in patients,” concluded the investigators.

Visit Ophthalmology Advisor’s conference section for the complete Dry Eye Disease coverage from the AAO 2021.



Navas A, Cordoba A, Zatarain Barron NC, et al. Subconjunctival sirolimus-loaded liposomes for DED. Presented at: American Academy of Ophthalmology (AAO) 2021; November 3-6, 2021; New Orleans Abstract PO175.