A formulation that can sustain the delivery of a drug and reduce the frequency of doses by itself contributes to improved patient compliance. But when sustained delivery of this formulation is coupled with organ-specific delivery by means of innovative combination products, the benefits to patients are even greater.
For example, researchers at the Retinoblastoma Program in the Vision Center at Children’s Hospital Los Angeles have developed what may be more effective method of locally treating retinal and vitreous diseases. A presentation given last week by A. Linn Murphree, MD, director of the program, at the Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology Summer Eye Research Conference described a “episcleral drug reservoir,” a tiny silicone cup that could be filled with a drug and sealed to the outer surface of the eyeball.
The delivery system could provide localized delivery of drugs to treat macular degeneration, diabetic retinopathy, uveitis, endophthalmitis, and retinoblastoma, according a press release. Currently, drugs for these diseases are administered systemically with an intravenous drip or by an injection into the eyeball. For retinoblastoma (a cancer), avoiding systemic delivery would prevent the loss of bone marrow that is crucial for maintaining the immunity to fight infection.
Murphree’s research team is currently developing a protocol for Phase I/II clinical trials in humans.