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    New technologies on horizon to redefine drug delivery


    Contact lens delivery

    Researchers at Harvard University are developing a drug-eluting contact lens. A drug-eluting polymer film is attached to the periphery of a standard hydrogel contact lens to provide controlled release directly to the ocular surface. Lenses can be removed and replaced by the patient every 30 days to provide a steady state drug delivery for as long as needed.

    Latanoprost-eluting contact lenses provided steady state delivery for 30 days in animal studies. Work in glaucomatous monkeys showed nearly double the IOP reduction using latanoprost-eluting contact lenses compared to latanoprost drops.

    “We were surprised by these results,” said Joseph B. Ciolino, MD, associate professor of ophthalmology, Massachusetts Eye and Ear Clinic, Boston. “We are planning a human pilot study to explore the possibility that if you deliver drug in a sustained manner, you may get better pressure reduction than you can with drops. The technology is simple and it resonates with glaucoma specialists and patients who already use bandage contact lenses.”

    Mati Therapeutics

    Mati Therapeutics is taking a different approach to punctal plug delivery. Its Evolute plug is inserted intranasally to improve retention and the active drug is housed in a core that offers a constant surface area to control the rate of drug dispersal. The device is designed for up to 120 days of use, depending on the drug and the condition to be treated.

    The company already has conducted multiple phase II trials in glaucoma, ocular hypertension, and allergy. Glaucoma trials using latanoprost have shown a consistent 5 mm Hg to 5.5 mm Hg reduction in IOP. Preclinical data show the system can elute travoprost faster than latanoprost and produce 1 mm Hg to 3 mm Hg greater reduction in IOP.

    “Considering that travoprost is more potent than latanoprost, the potency difference is key when you are delivering microgram amounts,” said Christopher A. Muller, chief commercial officer. “We are planning clinical trials with travoprost and fully expect to get better IOP reduction than we are seeing with latanoprost.”

    Ocular Therapeutix

    Fred Gebhart
    The author is a correspondent for Urology Times, a sister publication.

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