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    Drug-delivery platforms offer more options and promise for clinicians

    Dramatic changes in glaucoma drug delivery are moving closer to the clinic. Seven companies reviewed the latest data on variety of solids, gels, particles, and combination platforms designed to deliver sustained, calibrated drug doses for up to six months.

    More from Glaucoma 360: Three companies on the “Horizon” with glaucoma drugs

    “Drug delivery is a huge unmet need for all of us,” said Eliot Lazar, MD, president of elCON Medical and co-moderator of New Horizons in Glaucoma Drug Delivery session at the 2016 Glaucoma 360. “Some of the companies here today have gone from preclinical to clinical in the past five years. We hope to hear about approved products in the relatively near future. All of these companies are simply the best in class.”

    Envisia Therapeutics

    Envisia has adapted printing technologies used in microelectronics to create drug depots that can be used for glaucoma and other ocular conditions. The particles can be engineered in almost any size or physical configuration from 5 nm to a few millimeters.

    “If you can take the right drug and put it at the right spot in the right dose, you can get remarkable performance,” said Benjamin Yerxa, PhD, president. “We are about leveraging perfect drug placement and release. The platform is ready for application in ophthalmology in a wide variety of ways, but glaucoma is the first program to enter clinical trials.”

    More: Glaucoma device makers swing for fence with new technologies

    The goal is 24/7 IOP control with prostaglandin efficacy by injecting drug particles into the anterior chamber, Dr. Yerxa said. That means a 25% to 30% IOP reduction with at least 6 months of action from a single administration and less hyperemia than topical drops because injection bypasses the conjunctival vasculature. The drug carrier is biodegradable and disappears at the end of the dosing period.

    Early 4-week trials showed IOP reduction similar to travoprost ophthalmic solution (Travatan Z, Alcon Laboratories) with a high-dose version. A low-dose version showed IOP lowering similar to timolol maleate. Six-month trials have begun and data should be available later in 2016.

    Sponsored: Visiting San Francisco this August? Dinner is on us!

    Envisia is also developing back-of-the-eye applications for sustained-release formulations of large biomolecules. Early preclinical data are promising and more results should be available in 2017.

    ForSight VISION5

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