Ocular Drug Delivery
Ocular diseases affect millions worldwide and cause significant impacts on quality of life, particularly in the elderly. The delicate tissues and small volume of the eye represent unique challenges and require particular care when developing novel therapies. Topical eye drops and intraocular injections have been employed for decades to deliver ocular therapeutics; however, either method has well-recognized limitations including frequently repeated administration, limited therapeutic bioavailability, discomfort, risk of infection, and inconvenience.
There is an urgent need in clinical ophthalmology for a syringe-deployable intraocular sustained drug delivery device that is highly efficacious for biologically-derived therapeutics. A sustained release device for biologic therapeutics that releases over several months can maintain effective therapeutic concentrations and reduce injection frequency, reducing patient burden, and improving standard-of-care. One attractive platform for continuous delivery of biologic therapeutics is the use of nanoporous biodegradable materials.
We are developing miniaturized injectable nanoporous devices for the long-term delivery of biologics to the eye. Current efforts are directed toward tuning our devices for constant drug release, stable drug formulation, and timely degradation.
- Translation-focused efforts to further miniaturize ocular devices and formulate biologic payloads for long-term stability (≥ 4 months).
Point(s) of contact: Dr. Dan Bernards, Tannia Rodriguez
In collaboration with Bob Bhisitkul, MD, PhD