• Sheikh Shakhbout Medical City has successfully treated a patient with the novel FDA-approved thyroid eye disease medication.
  • The innovative treatment addresses the disease’s root cause and goes beyond treating the symptoms of the autoimmune condition.

Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates: Sheikh Shakhbout Medical City (SSMC), one of the UAE’s largest hospitals for serious and complex care and a joint-venture partnership between Abu Dhabi Health Services Company (SEHA) and Mayo Clinic, has introduced a novel U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved medication to treat patients suffering from thyroid eye disease (TED). 

SSMC, which operates one of the largest ophthalmology units in the UAE for complex eye conditions, has secured and now provides the medication, which reduces the effects of this debilitating autoimmune disorder. Teprotumumab-trbw, which is a monoclonal antibody therapy, works by blocking the action of certain proteins in the body. As a result, the inflammation subsides, resulting in improvement in vision, pain, redness, swelling, double vision and bulgy eyes.

The patient, who was treated with this novel therapy, came to SSMC suffering from blurry vision and pain in both of his eyes. He experienced constant red and watery eyes, which had a pronounced impact on his vision and quality of life. He was referred to Dr. Habibullah Eatamadi, consultant oculoplastic and ophthalmic surgeon, and Dr. Ohood Almazrouie, oculoplastic and ophthalmic surgeon at SSMC, who conducted thorough tests and examinations, and confirmed the diagnosis of severe sight-threatening thyroid eye disease.

After discussing different options, the patient agreed to be treated with the only FDA-approved medication to treat thyroid eye disease. As a result of the treatment, the patient made notable progress in his recovery journey and experienced a substantial improvement in his overall well-being and ability to manage his daily functions.

Dr. Eatamadi said: “Introducing this much-needed medication to the region presents patients suffering from TED with an effective solution to their condition. By making the treatment available at SSMC, we are contributing to reducing the risk of patients facing irreversible eye damage. Moreover, what makes this medication truly unique is its ability to treat the cause of the disease and not just the symptoms of TED 

Thyroid Eye Disease (TED), also known as Graves’ orbitopathy or thyroid-associated orbitopathy, is an autoimmune condition characterized by inflammation and swelling of the muscles and fat behind the eyes. Thyroid eye disease is estimated to affect 155 to 250 people per 100,000 of the overall population worldwide. Symptoms of thyroid eye disease can be mild, moderate or severe and sight threatening. These include irritation, light sensitivity, gritty sensation in the eyes, excessive tearing, swelling of the eyelids, redness and irritation, pressure behind the eyes, double vision, eye bulging (exophthalmos), and in more serious cases the disease can lead to loss of vision. In addition to having a significant impact on patients’ quality of life, the disease changes the eyes’ appearance and is disfiguring. 

The clinical management of thyroid eye disease necessitates the involvement of multiple specialists, including ophthalmologists (oculoplastic surgeon), endocrinologists, immunologists, ENT specialists and pharmacists, as well as a dedicated team providing logistical support to patients and doctors.

Marleine Bejjani Moukarzel, director of Pharmacy, added: “SSMC boasts a team of exceptionally skilled clinical pharmacists, who play a pivotal role in the evaluation and implementation of cutting-edge advancements and therapeutic approaches. We are committed to providing pioneering medicines to all patients in the most effective and compassionate way”.

Dr. Matthew Gettman, chief medical officer, at SSMC, remarked the importance of making novel treatments available to patients with autoimmune disorders and said: “Introducing novel treatments that address patients’ needs will always be an absolute priority for SSMC. We remain committed to the provision of exceptional health care and work tirelessly to provide integrated and progressive solutions for patients in the region and beyond. 

“Guided by our unique model of care and unshakable shields of practice, education and research, SSMC continues to prioritize the health and well-being of the community through the latest evidence-based advancements in the medical field.”

About Sheikh Shakhbout Medical City (SSMC):

Sheikh Shakhbout Medical City (SSMC) is a joint venture between Abu Dhabi Health Services Company (SEHA), the UAE’s largest healthcare network, and Mayo Clinic, a non-profit global leader in medical care, education and research headquartered in the United States of America. Established in 2019, SSMC is the largest tertiary hospital in the UAE and serves to elevate the provision of health care services in the nation under the mandate of the Abu Dhabi Economic Vision 2030.

Supported by the latest diagnostic and treatment modalities available, SSMC offers care in 24 specialties. A team of locally and internationally trained physicians and allied health staff work seamlessly together, which promotes comprehensive interdisciplinary learning, allowing SSMC to become a leading hub for integrated patient-centric medical services in the region.

As the region’s leading tertiary facility, SSMC has 742 patient beds, 18 operating theatres and includes a hybrid operating room, 26 neonatal intensive care units and the UAE’s largest pathology lab.

About SEHA:

The Abu Dhabi Health Services Company PJSC–SEHA – is an independent, public joint stock company created to develop the curative activities of the public health care system in Abu Dhabi. The company owns and operates all the public hospitals and clinics of the Emirate of Abu Dhabi. 

SEHA is part of ADQ, one of the region’s largest holding companies with a broad portfolio of major enterprises spanning key sectors of Abu Dhabi’s diversified economy.

SEHA is committed to continuous improvement of customer care to recognized international standards and providing the community with world-class health care. SEHA operates 13 hospitals with 3,385 beds, 70 ambulatory care, family care and urgent care centers and 2 blood banks. Its facilities accommodate 117,162 inpatients annually and conduct 43,262 surgeries, as well as treating more than five million outpatients. SEHA is one of the largest integrated health care providers in the Middle East with more than 18,000 doctors, nurses, ancillary care, and administrative personnel. Learn more at

About Mayo Clinic:

Mayo Clinic is a nonprofit organization committed to innovation in clinical practice, education and research, and providing compassion, expertise and answers to everyone who needs healing. Visit the Mayo Clinic News Network for additional Mayo Clinic news and Mayo Clinic Facts for more information about Mayo.