Eximore Technologies is taking a less invasive route with drug-eluting punctal plugs that are removed and replaced every three to six months. The system has been used with prostaglandin analogues and beta blockers in glaucoma and lipids, nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) and immunosuppressives for dry eye.
“We are here to take efficacy out of the hands of patients and solve the adherence problem,” explained Ishay Attar, co-founder and CEO. “Using proprietary nanotechnology, up to 40% of the plug by weight is active drug that diffuses into the eye at a steady, controlled rate. The plug is invisible once in place, comfortable, retained very securely, can administer multiple drugs at once, and preservative free.”
Animal studies with a latanoprost-loaded plug show a 50% reduction in IOP. A second product for dry eye is in the preclinical stages. The company plans to launch human trials outside the United States later this year.
Graybug is developing an injectable platform, encapsulating novel agents in microparticles that form a resorbable drug depot in the vitreous. Initial dosing will be every six months, but recent animal data support once-yearly dosing.
“Adherence is the major problem in glaucoma,” said Jeffrey L. Cleland, PhD, president and CEO. “Within the first few months, patients stop taking their drops, but can’t tell that their ocular pressure is up and don’t start to lose vision right away. Our technologies take adherence out of the hands of the patient and put it in the hands of the doctor.”
Graybug is developing two related technologies. One is an injectable drug depot that can be tuned for different agents, different delivery sites within the eye, and different delivery durations.
The second is novel forms of familiar drugs that have been optimized for depot delivery. It is possible to deliver a prostaglandin-timolol combination, for example, or an IOP-lowering agent plus a neuroprotective agent.
The company plans to launch its first clinical trial in wet age-related macular degeneration over the summer and its first glaucoma trial in 2018.