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    On the road toward solving the PCO challenge

    Innovation uses nanotechnology for drug delivery; can be applied during cataract surgery


    Take-home message: Targeting of Myo/Nog cells using a novel nanocarrier complex loaded with doxorubicin is showing promise as a treatment for reducing posterior capsule opacification.


    Finding an effective strategy for reducing posterior capsule opacification (PCO)—the most common cause of vision loss after cataract surgery—continues to elude clinicians.

    However, a novel platform providing targeted delivery of a cytotoxic drug to the cells that mediate this complication is showing promise.

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    Intended for intraoperative administration, the targeted therapeutic product (G8-3DNA-Dox) achieves immunodepletion of Myo/Nog cells that are implicated in the development of PCO.

    The drug is being developed by scientists at Genisphere LLC, Hatfield, PA, in collaboration with Mindy George-Weinstein, PhD, Cooper Medical School of Rowan University, Camden, NJ, and uses the company’s proprietary customizable 3DNA nanotechnology drug delivery platform.

    The DNA nanocarrier can link together two different molecules—most often a drug and a targeting molecule. In G8-3DNA-Dox, 3DNA is intercalated with doxorubicin and complexed with a monoclonal antibody, designated as G8, which specifically targets Myo/Nog cells. Compared with a platform that only conjugates drug and antibody, the 3DNA nanotechnology can deliver a 100-fold greater load of drug to its target.

    G8-3DNA-Dox specifically depletes Myo/Nog cells through induction of apoptosis without off-target effects.

    The drug is currently being tested in the rabbit lens that aggressively develops PCO within 4 weeks of cataract surgery. The rabbit studies are being conducted under the direction of Liliana Werner, MD, PhD, and Nick Mamalis, MD, at the Intermountain Ocular Research Center, University of Utah, Salt Lake City.

    Numerous advancements have been made to surgical techniques and IOLs in an attempt to reduce PCO, noted Dr. Werner, associate professor of ophthalmology, and co-director of the Intermountain Ocular Research Center.

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    These changes include polishing the capsule to remove residual lens epithelial cells, as well as modifications in IOL design, she noted.

    Different pharmacologic approaches have also been tried to prevent this problem.

    Next: Addressing etiology of the problem

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