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    2015 ARVO finds connections in innovative drug delivery, therapies

    Cutting-edge progress also continues in retina, cornea, dry eye, gene-based science


    Take-home message: Forward-looking research in drug delivery and therapies filled the sessions at this year’s meeting of the Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology.



    Denver—Much like the studies it features, the 2015 meeting of the Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology (ARVO)—with this year’s theme of “Powerful Connections”—met its primary objective. Some of the best and most interesting presentations focused on connections between new therapies and innovations in therapeutic delivery schemes.

    Here are highlights of some of the many presentations from this year’s meeting.

    Drug delivery

    Development of new methods of ophthalmic drug delivery has taken advantage of an explosion in research into the formulation and manufacture of new biopolymers based upon modified collagens or hyaluronic acids.

    For example, drug release from a chemically modified HA was explored in several presentations, including one using a polymer matrix to deliver recombinant human growth hormone (Bowen RC. IOVS. 2015;56:ARVO E-Abstract 1295; Wirostko B. IOVS. 2015;56:ARVO E-Abstract 262). The study found that the HA polymer could deliver rHGH in a controlled, sustained manner—both in vitro and in vivo—over a course of days to months.

    Another type of delivery system involved the use of a collagen hydrogel implant (Mondal D. IOVS. 2015;56:ARVO E-Abstract 4135). In this study, the gel was used to deliver vancomycin to be used as a preventive for postoperative ocular infection.

    Other presentations described new designs for implant-based drug delivery. In one, difluprednate for treatment of inflammation and pain associated with ocular surgery was delivered by either subconjunctival or intracameral implantation, and it demonstrated a prolonged drug delivery and a reduction in ocular inflammation over 4 weeks in a rabbit model of corneal inflammation (Garcia A. IOVS. 2015;56:ARVO E-Abstract 5897). Such treatments have the potential to bypass the need for topicals requiring multiple daily instillations.

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