Editor’s note: This week’s Deep Dive feature focuses on eye disorders and treatments from an RTP firm Merakris Therapeutics.


RESEARCH TRIANGLE PARK – A tailored treatment for dry eye and other ocular surface diseases – delivered fast – that is accessible and super convenient for patients.

That’s what Merakris Therapeutics promises to provide with its Opticyte Autologous Serum Tears program.

To that end, the Research Triangle Park biotechnology startup is leveraging a national network of mobile phlebotomists armed with sterile processing technology. As soon as a clinician requests Opticyte Tears for a patient, Merakris contacts that person to schedule an at-home or in-clinic visit by a specialist. Blood serum is drawn and processed, and an individualized package of Opticyte Tears is delivered in less than two hours.

Opticyte tear product
Opticyte Autologous Serum Tears program. -Image from Merakris

Merakris said the point-of-care process improves the customer experience, while harnessing the human body’s ability to heal. Unlike artificial tears, Opticyte – derived from the patient’s own blood – contains a unique blend of beneficial components that include growth factors, antibodies, albumin, and vitamin A that have been shown to support ocular health and reduce the symptoms of dry eye.

In addition to dry eye, the product can be used to treat other corneal epithelial (outer layer) defects – and as a supplemental therapy to support the health of the surface of the eye before and after various surgical procedures.

Merakris CEO Chris Broderick said the Opticyte program “delivers unmatched convenience and time-saving advantages, combined with consumer-friendly packaging.” Customers can receive a 90- or 120-day supply of the product right at their doorstep, or at their local eye clinic.

“By combining mobile clinicians with point-of-care sterile processing, we’re able to offer our customers optimal benefit in terms of customization, convenience and effectiveness,” Broderick added. “And Opticyte supports Merakris’ mission of improving global patient outcomes through regenerative biotechnologies.”

The program extends the Opticyte line of optical products that also includes Opticyte Matrix, an ophthalmic barrier to the corneal surface of the eye that can be used with various eye procedures.

Merakris Therapeutics, founded in 2016, pioneers the use of commercially scalable stem cell-derived biotherapeutic technologies to promote the healing of damaged tissue. The company also is investigating other novel biotechnology solutions that promote wound healing and tissue regeneration.