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    Drug-delivery technologies will transform care

    First-line treatment for glaucoma has changed little since the early 20th Century. Clinicians have more drug options today, but topical medications intended to reduce IOP remain the primary treatment modality. Sustained-release drug delivery devices offer promise to transform glaucoma care.

    Multiple studies have found that fewer than half of glaucoma patients are adherent to eye drops by the end of the first year of treatment. Only half of those can self-administer eye drops correctly on a regular basis. It is not that patients don’t want to adhere to treatment regimes; they simply can’t because of age and comorbidities.

    “At the end of the day, we will have a way, or ways, to take the patient out of the equation and allow the drug to exert its maximum effectiveness,” predicted Robert Fechtner, MD, director of Glaucoma Division at Rutgers New Jersey Medical School, Newark. “Sustained release or controlled release is a very important component for driving effective drug delivery.”

    Dr. Fechtner co-moderated  “New Horizons in Drug Delivery” with Eliot Lazar, MD, president of elCon Medical. Eight companies presented four drug delivery technologies: solid implants, punctal plugs, injectable gels, and implantable pumps. Several devices are in phase II trials and some are moving toward phase III.

     

    Listen as each of the eight compnaies present their drug-delivery technologies at the New Horizons Forum.

    DSM Biomedical

    DSM Biomedical uses injectable amino acid-based polyesteramide (PEA) fibers containing latanoprost for glaucoma. PEA can be fabricated into fibers, rods, films, micro- and nano-particles and coatings, said Miriam Gillissen, program manager for drug delivery.

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