Celanese is a specialty materials and chemical company that works across various industries, including agriculture, consumer goods, and the pharmaceutical industry, and it has partnered with Johns Hopkins University Department of Ophthalmology to work on its VitalDose drug delivery platform.
The partners will examine the product to determine whether it could allow for sustained drug delivery to the suprachoroidal space in the eye, thereby expanding its potential application. Currently, the product is already used for sustained delivery to the eye for retinal diseases, glaucoma, and uveitis.
VitalDose is a technology platform for controlled and sustained release of various treatment modalities, including small molecules, monoclonal antibodies (mAbs), peptide, and RNAi therapeutics.
The product itself is formed of an ethylene vinyl acetate pharmaceutical grade copolymer, which allows for subcutaneous, ophthalmic implants, and intravaginal inserts.
On the research partnership, the organizations stated that the direct administration of therapeutics to the suprachoroidal space is growing more common as an approach for the treatment of retinal disorders. The suprachoroidal space is a located between the sclera and choroid that traverses the circumference of the posterior area of the eye.
Current treatment options that target the area involve the patient receiving frequent ocular injections performed at the physician’s office. By being able to implant the VitalDose platform, a sustained dose could be delivered instead that would potentially allow for continuous drug delivery for greater than six months.
“Our collaboration with Johns Hopkins Department of Ophthalmology allows us to seek out scientific advancements with potential to improve patient health in ophthalmology. The VitalDose technology platform has potential well beyond its present commercialized applications,” said Cyonna Holmes, global business strategy leader for ophthalmology at Celanese.
For its part, scientists at Celanese will independently conduct portions of the planned research in its development and feasibility lab, which is a dedicated pharmaceutical facility.
The company opened the drug delivery feasibility lab in 2021 to work on the development of long-acting delivery of small molecules, biologics, and nucleotides.
On establishing the site, Celanese stated that it would enable the offering of services, including material characterization; injection molding, hot-melt extrusion, and other prototyping capabilities; monolithic or multi-layer drug-loaded prototypes; in vitro characterization and drug release studies; and tooling design and development.