OBJECTIVE This study compared the efficacy, safety, and pharmacokinetics of a preservative-free latanoprost formulation to an established, benzalkonium chloride (BAK) containing formulation for the treatment of open-angle glaucoma or ocular hypertension. METHODS This was a phase II, randomized, cross-over, investigator-masked, multi-center, pilot study (NCT01494753). A total of 30 untreated adult patients (aged ≥18 years) with primary open angle glaucoma, pseudo-exfoliative glaucoma, pigmentary glaucoma, or ocular hypertension received either preservative-free or preserved latanoprost once daily in both eyes for 6 weeks, before crossing over to receive the other treatment. Efficacy (intraocular pressure [IOP] at 8 am, midday, 4 pm and 8 pm, and global efficacy assessment by investigator), safety (adverse events, ocular symptoms and global tolerance, slit lamp examination, funduscopy, visual field examination, visual acuity, and heart rate), and pharmacokinetics were assessed at Days 0, 42, and 84. RESULTS Both treatments resulted in a reduction in IOP that was similar for the preservative-free and the preserved formulation at all time points. Similarly, the overall diurnal reduction was similar in both groups (6.3 mmHg [27.9% reduction] and 6.4 mmHg [28.1% reduction] for preserved and preservative-free latanoprost, respectively). There were no differences in global efficacy assessment or in the safety and tolerance of each treatment. Systemic concentrations of latanoprost were very low; AUC0-30 and Cmax were lower and tmax was longer for preservative-free latanoprost. CONCLUSIONS Preservative-free latanoprost showed similar efficacy at all time points compared to BAK preservative containing formulation, with no difference in tolerance, allowing progression to phase III clinical development.