Ophthalmology & Visual Sciences at the Eye Institute

Currently Enrolling Study

Horizon OPTIC Study for Thyroid Eye Disease

Purpose of study:
The purpose of this study is to learn about the safety and effectiveness of an investigational drug called teprotumumab in the treatment of thyroid eye disease. An investigational drug is one which has not been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.

What is Thyroid Eye Disease (TED)?

People with Thyroid Eye Disease (TED) experience eye problems often associated with an overactive thyroid (Graves' disease). The eye problems seen with TED include swelling, redness and discomfort of the eyelids and eye surface, increased tearing, thickening and pulling back of the eyelids, bulging of the eyes, and double vision. TED can threaten sight for a small proportion of patients.

What is involved?
Potential study participants must first be evaluated for eligibility by an ophthalmologist at the Medical College of Wisconsin/Froedtert Hospital Eye Institute. Research participants will make regular visits to the Eye Institute over the course of 18 months. After screening tests are performed to confirm eligibility, participants receive the study drug as a series of infusions into a vein. Because no one knows which intervention is best, the study will compare teprotumumab to a placebo (an infusion containing no real medicine). About half of the people in this study will receive teprotumumab and the other half will receive placebo. Participants will not be told which group they have been assigned to. After the initial series of infusions, if no improvement has been shown, the participant may be eligible for open-label infusions of teprotumumab. After all infusions, some follow-up visits are completed to perform more testing for the study.
A total of about 76 people are expected to participate in this study nationally, including about 10 at the Medical College of Wisconsin.


Research participants will be paid $75 for every study visit they complete. Participants will also be reimbursed for travel and meal expenses for each visit.

You may be eligible to participate in this study if you meet these criteria.

  1. Aged 18-75 years old
  2. Clinical diagnosis of Graves' disease associated with active TED
    Fewer than 9 months from the onset of TED
    Do not need immediate surgery
  3. Patients must be euthyroid or with mild hypo- or hyperthyroidism (FT4 and FT3 levels close to the normal limits).
  4. The following previous treatments are not allowed:
    Selenium or biotin use within three weeks of starting the study
    Oral or intravenous (IV) steroids or any other immunosuppressive agent in the past 3 months (oral steroids may be allowed in some cases)
    Previous orbital irradiation
    Rituximab (Rituxan© or MabThera©) use within three months of starting the study
  5. No cancer in the past 12 months (successfully treated basal cell cancer of the skin is allowed)
  6. Diabetes must be well controlled
  7. No bleeding or clotting disorders
  8. No pregnant or lactating women
  9. No drug or alcohol abuse
  10. Certain eye conditions that could complicate the study results are not allowed. This is determined by a study doctor.
  11. No known hypersensitivity to any of the components of teprotumumab or monoclonal antibodies

More Information:
Additional information about the Horizon OPTIC Study for Thyroid Eye Disease can be found at ClinicalTrials.gov. Contact Ellie Dorsey at (414) 955-7854 if you have questions.

IRB Approval: PRO00029188, 11/20/2017

More Information

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