Envisioning the Future of Ocular Therapeutics
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Unmet Needs

Non-Invasive Opportunities

There is a clear and urgent need for alternative drug delivery systems for intraocular diseases. The following are limitations of current or standard treatments
Eye Drops Limited efficacy due to penetration of drug into ocular tissues and continuous turnover of tears.
Oral Route Side effects as a result of systemic toxicity.
Eye Injections Can cause hemorrhage as well as enhancing risks of cataract, glaucoma, infections and retinal detachment.
Implants Risks of complications may include hemorrhage, cataract, glaucoma, infections, and retinal detachment. Cannot modulate the dosage.

For most compounds, the cornea is the most important entry portal for topically applied drugs. However, when applied as a drop, only a small fraction, typically less than 5%, reaches the eye’s interior. Additionally, only a tiny fraction of the drug penetrating the cornea will migrate posteriorly, against the fluid-dynamic gradient of the anterior chamber and past the barriers of the lens, iris, and ciliary body to reach the posterior globe. Certainly, achieving a therapeutically relevant drug concentration in the posterior retina by application of topical drops is an arduous proposition with a low likelihood of success.

To solve the problems of immediate release IVT, an offshoot of the IVT has emerged. Surgical implantation of erodible or non-erodible sustained release drug delivery devices into the vitreous produces relatively constant drug concentrations in target ocular tissues. When the drug payload has been exhausted, either a new device is inserted to replace the old, or a new device is inserted near the old. These devices pose the same risks to vision as those previously mentioned for intravitreal injections including a higher incidence of retinal detachment. Furthermore, if ocular drug toxicity is observed, such as increased intraocular pressure or cataractogenesis during corticosteroid therapy, the toxicity has to be managed or the device removed.

Many of the leading back of the eye drug delivery technologies initially employed intravitreal invasive methods simple because the goal for many pioneering back of the eye drug discovery companies was to be first to market. Thus, in order to get around the side effects of intravitreal invasive drug delivery methods, a new research field of transscleral drug delivery has emerged, the area of Aciont’s expertise.

The emerging transscleral drug delivery industry includes but it is not limited to periocular injection methods such as nanopartical technologies, lipid carriers, microspheres; minimally invasive methods such as microneedles; and applied topical methods such as iontophoresis.

One revolutionary aspect of our technology platform is the incorporation of novel sustained release formulation for water soluble drugs as part of a non-invasive drug delivery system