Punctal plug tested as glaucoma treatment

May 16, 2012
Ophthalmology Times Staff Reports

Ocular Therapeutix has begun a feasibility study of a punctal plug delivering sustained-release travoprost (Travatan and Travatan Z, Alcon; Travo-Z, MicroLabs) to treat glaucoma.

Bedford, MA-Ocular Therapeutix has begun a feasibility study of a punctal plug delivering sustained-release travoprost (Travatan and Travatan Z, Alcon; Travo-Z, MicroLabs) to treat glaucoma.

As many as 20 patients with documented ocular hypertension or open-angle glaucoma will be enrolled at Singapore National Eye Center and the National University Hospital in Singapore. Primary endpoints will include IOP reduction from baseline and 30-day plug retention. This trial will be the first in a series, with later studies extending the length of travoprost delivery for several months.

“Our initial patients are showing significant drops in IOP by day 3, which is very promising,” said Shamira Perera, MD, principal investigator at the Singapore National Eye Center. “Additionally, the product is very easy to use and has not caused any discomfort upon insertion or during the retention period for any of our patients.”

The plugs use the company’s proprietary polyethylene glycol hydrogel technology to release the drug in a sustained fashion. At the end of the treatment period, the plug begins to degrade and exits the nasolacrimal system without needing to be removed by a physician. Each plug contains a visualization agent so that retention can be monitored throughout treatment.

“Positive results from this study will establish efficacy of our resorbable travoprost-loaded punctum plug technology, providing a stepping stone for advancements of this product with longer-term therapies,” said Amar Sawhney, PhD, president and chief executive officer of Ocular Therapeutix.

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