Aerie Pharmaceuticals, a California-based Duke University spinoff that has research and development operations in the Triangle, has received US Food and Drug administration approval for its glaucoma drug delivered once a day via eyedrops.

The company’s Rhopressa drug treats open angle glaucoma, the most common form of the disease, which affects about 3 million in the United States.

While glaucoma, a degenerative eye disease, can be treated, it can cause vision loss if not caught early.

Current treatments often require four applications of eye drops with unpleasant side effects such as blurred vision, dry eyes, and irritation, daily.

The Aerie drug relaxes the eye’s drainage chamber, allowing fluids causing pressure build-up to release.

Aerie has not priced the drug and is negotiating with health insurers.

Co-founders of the company were the late David Epstein, a medical professor at Duke, and Duke Vice Provost Eric Toone, director of the University’s Innovation and Entrepreneurship Initiative.