Intravitreal Sirolimus as Therapeutic Approach to Uveitis (SAVE-2)

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    Stanford University
Updated on 30 January 2022
immunosuppressive agents


The purpose of this study is to find out about the safety and effectiveness of two different doses the study drug, sirolimus, administered intravitreally in patients with uveitis. The potential effectiveness of sirolimus can be utilized to control inflammation in uveitis and yet avoid the potential complications that are usually associated with the systemic use of the drug and other immunomodulatory therapies. In this study, the investigators will administer sirolimus inside the eye (intravitreally) in one of two doses (440mcg/mcL or 880mcg/mcL). Local administration of sirolimus to the eye is not expected to have effects on the rest of the body. Therefore, it may offer a safer way than the current methods used to control the inflammation caused by non-infectious uveitis.


Uveitis is a condition in which certain parts of your eye become inflamed. The inflammation is usually recurrent. If the inflammation is not treated adequately, permanent damage to the eye and to the vision may occur. The inflammation can be caused by infectious or non infectious causes. The current research is being done to determine the safety and the usefulness of treatment of non-infectious uveitis using different doses of intravitreal injections of a drug called sirolimus.

Current treatment options for uveitis include oral corticosteroids and drugs that weaken the immune system of the body (i.e., immunosuppressant drugs). Treatment using oral corticosteroids, especially for long periods, may cause many undesirable side effects and complications such as high blood sugar, high blood pressure, bone weakness, obesity, stomach ulcers, abnormal hair growth, and increased risks of infection. In addition to that, in some cases, the disease cannot be controlled even with the highest dose of steroids.

Injection of steroids around and inside the eye can be used to control uveitis. However, the inflammation does not always respond to such kind of treatment. The eyes may develop high pressure and cataract with injections of steroids into the eyes or around the eyes.

On the other hand, despite their potential effectiveness, treatment with drugs that weaken the immune system may cause severe side effects. Increased risk of infection is a common side effect of all the immunosuppressant drugs. The immune system protects the body from infections. When the immune system is suppressed, infections are more likely to happen. Some of these infections are potentially dangerous. Because the immune system protects the body against some forms of cancer, immunosuppressant drugs are also associated with a slightly increased risk of cancer. For example, long-term use of immunosuppressant drugs may carry an increased risk of developing skin cancer as a result of the combination of the drugs and exposure to sunlight. The immunosuppressive drugs are very powerful and can cause serious side effects such as high blood pressure, kidney problems, and liver problems. Some side effects may not show up until years after the medicine is used.

Condition Uveitis, Intermediate Uveitis, Posterior Uveitis, Panuveitis
Treatment Intravitreal injection 440mcg, Intravitreal injection of sirolimus 880mcg
Clinical Study IdentifierNCT01280669
SponsorStanford University
Last Modified on30 January 2022


Yes No Not Sure

Inclusion Criteria

Males and females greater than or equal to 12 years of age
Able to give informed consent and attend all study visits
Have diagnosis of uveitis determined by the Investigator to be non-infectious based on the patient's medical history, history of present illness, ocular examination, review of systems, physical examination, and any pertinent laboratory evaluations
Meet the following criteria
Have active uveitis, defined as having at least 1+ Vitreous Haze and/or at least 1+ Vitreous Cell Count (SUN scale), and
are receiving no treatment; or
are receiving
prednisone 10 mg/day (or equivalent dose of another corticosteroid), or
at least 1 systemic immunosuppressant other than corticosteroids, or
combination of prednisone 10 mg/day (or equivalent dose of another corticosteroid) and other systemic immunosuppressant
Have inactive disease, defined as having 0.5+ Vitreous Haze or less and 0.5+ or less Vitreous Cell Count (SUN scale), and
are receiving
prednisone <10 mg/day (or equivalent dose of another corticosteroid), or
at least 1 systemic immunosuppressant other than corticosteroids, or
combination of prednisone <10 mg/day (or equivalent dose of another corticosteroid) and other systemic immunosuppressant
Have posterior, intermediate, or panuveitis; for panuveitis, if an anterior component is present, it must be less than the posterior component
Sufficient inflammation to require systemic treatment and, based on the Investigator's decision, warrants intravitreal treatment
Best-corrected ETDRS visual acuity of 20/400 or better (approximately 20 letters) in the study eye
Best-corrected ETDRS visual acuity of 20/400 or better in the fellow eye (approximately 20 letters)

Exclusion Criteria

Patients with bilateral uveitis who are receiving systemic immunosuppressive therapy (e.g., methotrexate, cyclosporine, cyclophosphamide, chlorambucil, mycophenolate mofetil, tacrolimus, or azathioprine) other than prednisone or other corticosteroids for the treatment of uveitis and the uveitis in the fellow eye, in the opinion of the Investigator, cannot be controlled with standard local therapies alone
Any significant ocular disease that could compromise the visual outcome in the study eye
Intravitreal injections (including but not limited to anti-vascular endothelial growth factors 60 days prior to the baseline
Posterior subtenon's or intravitreal injection of steroids 90 days prior to Baseline
Intraocular surgery within 90 days prior to Day 0 in the study eye
Capsulotomy within 30 days prior to Day 0 in the study eye
History of vitreoretinal surgery or scleral buckling within 90 days prior to Day 0 in the study eye
Any ocular surgery (including cataract extraction or capsulotomy) of the study eye anticipated within the first 180 days following Day 0
Intraocular pressure 25 mmHg in the study eye (glaucoma patients maintained on no more than 2 topical medications with IOP <25 mmHg are allowed to participate)
Pupillary dilation inadequate for quality fundus photography in the study eye
Media opacity that would limit clinical visualization, intravenous fluorescein angiography (IVFA), or OCT evaluation in the study eye
Presence of any form of ocular malignancy in the study eye, including choroidal melanoma
History of herpetic infection in the study eye or adnexa
Presence of known active or inactive toxoplasmosis in either eye
Ocular or periocular infection in either eye
Participation in other investigational drug or device clinical trials within 30 days prior to Day 0, or planning to participate in other investigational drug or device clinical trials within 180 days following Day 0. This includes both ocular and non-ocular clinical trials
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