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Serum eye drops

Development of a Serum Eye Drop Programme in Galway Blood and Tissue Establishment (GBTE), University College Hospital Galway

Prior to 2011, all patients prescribed ASE's in Ireland had their serum, derived from a unit of autologous blood, shipped to Speke, Liverpool for processing. The product was then shipped back to Ireland and issued to the patient by the Irish Blood Transfusion Service (IBTS). 

The Galway Blood and Tissue Establishment (GBTE) at Galway University Hospital has dedicated years of service to obtaining the Good Manufacturing Practice (GMP) license to produce autologous and allogeneic serum eye drops.

How it works

Galway University Hospital is the only hospital in Ireland licensed to produce Serum Eye drops (SE's). SE's are a serum-derived product used to treat a range of ocular surface disorders. 2017 has been the busiest year for Serum Eye drops to date and this is attributed to the Autologous Serum Eye drops (ASE) team for delivering an efficient programme.

The team

The ASE team in Galway Blood and Tissue Establishment (GBTE) carried out extensive research into the manufacture of the product in various sites worldwide and the therapeutic benefits of the treatment, and felt that GBTE had the resources, skill and knowledge to address this service need in Ireland.

As there is no other site in Ireland manufacturing this product, all aspects of the procedure from patient assessment and acceptance, donation, production, release and follow up has been devised entirely by GBTE.

Impact of this project

There are many patients throughout the country whose lives have been drastically improved thanks to this treatment. One recent patient began using ASE's in April 2017 after developing Graft Versus Host Disease (GVHD) in his eyes following an allogeneic bone marrow transplant in July 2015. The GVHD had severely affected his vision in both eyes, as well as causing severe pain and grittiness in the eyes. Since he started using the ASE's the patients sight has drastically improved, so much so that he can now drive again. He credits the ASE's with giving him back his independence and hugely improving his quality of life.