Corneal endothelial disease is a sight-threatening and debilitating condition affecting millions of people throughout the world. Composed of a single layer of cells located on the posterior surface of the cornea, the endothelium serves both barrier and pump functions, which are essential to the maintenance of corneal clarity and optimal vision.

The cells of the corneal endothelium are incapable of regenerating. Once these cells die – due to diseases such as Fuchs dystrophy, surgical trauma, and/or congenital dystrophies that lead to endothelial cell loss and vision degradation – they are gone forever. Symptoms of corneal endothelial disease may include blurring, glare, discomfort, and in some cases, severe pain.

Although topical therapy can relieve symptoms of early-stage disease, the only treatments for more severe corneal endothelial dysfunction are full- or partial-thickness corneal transplantation, referred to as penetrating (PK) or endothelial (DSAEK, DMEK) keratoplasty, respectively.

Corneal endothelial disease progression

Simulating the patient's perspective

  • Patient with 20/20 vision
  • Patient sees glares and halos at night
  • Contrast and brightness diminish
  • Vision becomes blurred and uneven
  • Objects are opaque, difficult to distinguish

Treatment options

While these EK methods are effective, they are complex procedures that require a supply of donor corneas in a 1:1 ratio (one healthy donor cornea to treat each diseased one). The global shortage of donor corneas cannot address this significant unmet demand.1


Healthy endothelial cells


Damaged endothelial cells