Eye drops to replace painful injections in AMD patients

By Flora Southey

- Last updated on GMT


Related tags Macular degeneration Drugs

The University of Birmingham has developed a cell-penetrating peptide it claims could be used to make eye drop versions of age-related macular degeneration drugs currently delivered by injection.

The polyarginine sequence, cell penetrating peptide (CPP) inserts into the cell membrane, creating instantaneous pores in cells which allow the drugs to pass through to the relevant part of the eye within minutes.

Laboratory research published in this month’s Investigative Ophthalmology and Visual Science​ ​obtained the same outcomes as the injected drug, offering hope it can be used to create eye drug formulations that can be delivered without injections.

Eye drop vs injection

Age-related macular degeneration (AMD) is a painless condition which causes vision loss.

Currently, AMD is treated with monthly injections in the eye over at least three years.

“Apart from being an unpleasant procedure for patients to undergo, the injections can cause tearing and infections inside the eye and an increased risk of blindness,” ​said the University.

“Efficacious self-administered drug application by eye drop would lead to a significant reduction in adverse outcomes and health care costs compared with current treatments,”​ a University spokesperson told in-PharmaTechnologist.com.

The University expects the peptide to be important in terms of empowering patients and reducing the cost of treatment to the NHS.

“The CPP-plus drug complex also has the potential application to other chronic ocular diseases that require drug delivery to the posterior chamber of the eye,” ​said the spokesperson.

The University of Birmingham owns the patent on this technology.

“At the moment we are hoping to secure funding to begin trails in humans, with the view to the eye drops then being developed into a product available to patients within the next three to five years,”​ said the spokesperson. 

Related topics Drug Delivery Delivery formulations

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