LOS ANGELES & ANN ARBOR, Mich.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Beverly Hills, California surgeon Dr. Raymond Douglas and Ann Arbor, Michigan’s Dr. Terry Smith – two prominent physicians specializing in thyroid-associated diseases – have unveiled a dramatic new non-surgical treatment for thyroid eye disease, one of the more serious symptoms of Graves’ disease.
In develop for nearly 15 years by Dr.’s Douglas and Smith, Teprotumumab has been designated by the FDA as a “breakthrough” therapy, a term reserved exclusively for drugs that are destined to radically change the specific field of medicine.
Profiled this month by the prestigious New England Journal of Medicine in a paper co-authored by the two surgeons, Teprotumumab will make its public debut this summer for availability through approximately six medical centers in the U.S., including Cedars-Sinai in Los Angeles and La Peer Health Center in Beverly Hills.
Marking the first time that a medicine can replace surgery for thyroid eye disease, Teprotumumab not only acts as an antibody to block the disease from progressing, but is also shown to completely reverse the disease.
A total of 22 centers nationwide were involved in the trials, making it the largest biologic trials ever for the disease. Dr. Douglas, who served as the lead investigator on the national Teprotumumab trials, will supervise the final trials, which are set to take place later this month in Los Angeles.
An estimated 20 million Americans suffer from some form of thyroid disease. The most common form of hyperthyroidism, Graves’ Disease causes a variety of symptoms including extreme anxiety and fatigue, hand tremors, increased sweating and weight loss. The disease is most often associated with bulging of the eyes, medically referred to as ophthalmopathy, that affects up to 50% of Graves’ victims. Teprotumumab works to block molecules that target tissues in the eye that result in the bulging appearance of Graves’ eye disease.
“Doctors Raymond Douglas and Terry Smith’s collaboration has succeeded in ushering in a truly game-changing treatment for thyroid-associated ophthalmopathy. Not only does Teprotumumab replace surgery, the drug represents the first and only medicine that has been shown to reverse the disease. Already, Teprotumumab is being embraced by the medical profession and is destined to become embraced by those suffering from Graves’ disease. Cedars Sinai Medical Center is extremely proud to serve as a center for this extraordinary therapy,” said Dr. Bruce L. Gewertz, M.D., Chair, Department of Surgery and Vice-Dean for Academic Affairs, Cedars-Sinai.
About Dr. Raymond Douglas:
Dr. Raymond Douglas is an experienced and board-certified oculoplastic surgeon in Beverly Hills, CA. He specializes in reconstructive and aesthetic surgery. Patients with thyroid eye disease, previous unsuccessful surgery (blepharoplasty), cancers of the eyelids and face, and trauma-induced injuries all seek Dr. Douglas’ expert care. Dr. Douglas also has a practice in Shanghai, China, and is frequently asked to teach his novel techniques to other surgeons internationally. Prior to opening his private practice in Beverly Hills, he served as the director of the Thyroid Eye Disease Center at the University of Michigan Kellogg Eye Center. His expertise in treating thyroid-associated eye diseases and cosmetic and reconstruction surgeries has made him a highly respected and sought after physician. Currently, Dr. Douglas is the Director of the Orbital and Thyroid Eye Disease program at the prestigious Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles. Dr. Douglas has published more than 100 peer-reviewed articles and textbook chapters and his special interest in thyroid eye disease has led him to lecture on the topic on a national and international basis. He is also the author of the definitive textbook on the many facets of care for thyroid eye disease. Dr. Douglas has earned a reputation for his customized approach to rehabilitation, which has led to safer treatments with less scarring and significantly faster recoveries. He sees patients in southern California, nationally and internationally, and is committed to providing each patient with an individualized treatment plan on how to best restore their health, vitality and appearance.
About Dr. Terry Smith:
Dr. Terry J. Smith, the Frederick G.L. Huetwell Professor in Ophthalmology and Visual Sciences at the University of Michigan, is an internationally known endocrinologist who has studied Graves’ disease, its eye manifestations, and related autoimmune diseases for over 20 years. Dr. Smith’s laboratory was first to describe the unique molecular attributes of tissue surrounding the eye that make it susceptible to inflammation in Graves’ disease. Dr. Smith received his medical degree from the University of Missouri School of Medicine and completed his residency at the University of Illinois in Chicago and Sinai Hospital in Baltimore. He has completed fellowships in biophysics at the University of California School of Medicine, San Francisco, in molecular biochemistry at Columbia University in New York, and clinical endocrinology at the Pritzker School of Medicine, University of Chicago. Dr. Smith is the author of over 150 articles and book chapters, and has been awarded five patents for his research discoveries. He has been elected to the Orbit Society, is chief scientific officer for the National Graves’ Foundation, and serves as reviewer for numerous scientific journals. Dr. Smith has been funded continuously by the National Institutes of Health and the Veterans Administration since 1983.