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Am J Ophthalmol. 2018 Feb;186:116-127. doi: 10.1016/j.ajo.2017.11.019. Epub 2017 Dec 1.

Two Phase 3 Clinical Trials Comparing the Safety and Efficacy of Netarsudil to Timolol in Patients With Elevated Intraocular Pressure: Rho Kinase Elevated IOP Treatment Trial 1 and 2 (ROCKET-1 and ROCKET-2).

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Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, New York, New York.
Wills Eye Hospital, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
Total Eye Care, Memphis, Tennessee.
Aerie Pharmaceuticals, Inc, Bedminster, New Jersey, and Durham, North Carolina.
SDC, Tempe, Arizona.
PharmaLogic Development, Inc, San Rafael, California; Departments of Pharmacology and Ophthalmology, University of California, Davis, School of Medicine, Sacramento, California. Electronic address:



To evaluate the efficacy and ocular and systemic safety of netarsudil 0.02% ophthalmic solution, a rho-kinase inhibitor and norepinephrine transporter inhibitor, in patients with open-angle glaucoma and ocular hypertension.


Double-masked, randomized noninferiority clinical trials: Rho Kinase Elevated IOP Treatment Trial 1 and 2 (ROCKET-1 and ROCKET-2).


After a washout of all pre-study ocular hypotensive medications, eligible patients were randomized to receive netarsudil 0.02% once daily (q.d.), timolol 0.5% twice a day (b.i.d.), and (ROCKET-2 only) netarsudil 0.02% b.i.d. Data through 3 months from both studies are provided in this report.


Enrolled into the 2 studies were 1167 patients. Treatment with netarsudil q.d. produced clinically and statistically significant reductions from baseline intraocular pressure (P < .001), and was noninferior to timolol in the per-protocol population with maximum baseline IOP < 25 mm Hg in both studies (ROCKET-2, primary outcome measure and population, ROCKET-1, post hoc outcome measure). Netarsudil b.i.d. was also noninferior to timolol (ROCKET-2). The most frequent adverse event was conjunctival hyperemia, the incidence of which ranged from 50% (126/251, ROCKET-2) to 53% (108/203, ROCKET-1) for netarsudil q.d., 59% (149/253, ROCKET-2) for netarsudil b.i.d., and 8% (17/208, ROCKET-1) to 11% (27/251, ROCKET-2) for timolol (P < .0001 for netarsudil vs timolol).


In 2 large, randomized, double-masked trials reported here, once-daily dosing of netarsudil 0.02% was found to be effective and well tolerated for the treatment of patients with ocular hypertension and open-angle glaucoma. The novel pharmacology and aqueous humor dynamic effects of this molecule suggest it may be a useful addition to the armamentarium of ocular hypotensive medications.

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