Cost regulators for NHS therapies in England and Wales have published draft guidelines rejecting funding for Dompé’s cenegermin as a treatment for neurotrophic keratitis, a rare eye condition.

In patients with neurotrophic keratitis, damage to the nerve connected to the cornea causes sight loss and impairs healing.

Current treatments, such as artificial tears, help ease symptoms but as yet there is no cure available for the disease.

Cenegermin is an artificial nerve growth factor, administered by eye drops, that stimulates healing to prevent further sight loss.

However, the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence said evidence showing the clinical effectiveness of the drug was uncertain.

Consequently, cost-effectiveness estimates for the drug were higher than what NICE normally considers an acceptable use of NHS resources, with an ICER for cenegermin compared with artificial tears of more than £30,000 per QALY gained.

Around 18,000 adults are affected by neurotrophic keratitis in England. Cenegermin’s list price is £14,500 for an eight-week course of treatment.