EyeLab Group proposes to develop a sustained time-release medication delivery insert for the eye. A small reservoir will be placed in the lacrimal canaliculus in the upper lid, a minor tear drainage pathway. It will be anchored in and deliver its medication(s) onto the surface of the eye from the opening to the canaliculus, the lacrimal punctum. Its advantages are a degree of therapeutic assurance not possible with the standard ophthalmic drug formulation - eye drops. First, delivery of the medication is assured, eliminating the compliance problem, the foremost concern of the ophthalmologist in medical management of diseases requiring continuing use of medications, like glaucoma, a major cause of blindness in The United States. Second, the required medication concentration inside the eye is assured, eliminating both the initial peak concentration after an eye drop is instilled and the decrease over time, which can result in inadequate control in diseases like glaucoma Third, by minimizing the amount of drug used, the risk of systemic side effects will be reduced. The research design includes (1) demonstration of research prototype efficacy in controlling intraocular pressure m human volunteer patients with the diagnosis of open angle glaucoma or ocular hypertension and (2) initial steps to commercialization.
A time release medication delivery insert would be accepted by patients because of its convenience, and by their ophthalmologists because it would enhance the quality of medical management of diseases like glaucoma. In The United States alone glaucoma affects at least 3 million people and involves a pharmaceutical market of $785 million.