An eye drop developed by scientists at the University of Birmingham could revolutionise treatment for age-related macular degeneration (AMD) enabling patients to administer treatment themselves. This could save time and money for patients and healthcare providers, and reduce potential complications that can arise from injections.
The technology behind the eye drops is a cell-penetrating peptide that can deliver the drug to the retina.
Laboratory research published in 2017 in Investigative Ophthalmology & Visual Science (IOVS) showed these eye drops have a similar therapeutic effect as the injected drug in rats. Investigations into the effect of the eye drops in the larger eyes of rabbits and pigs, which are more similar to human eyes, also demonstrated that the eye drops can deliver a therapeutically effective amount of the drugs to the retina of the larger mammalian eye. This research was also published in IOVS. Proof of concept studies to confirm the validity of the therapeutic approach are being expedited and clinical trials could begin mid 2019.
Professor Robert Scott, Consultant Ophthalmologist and Honorary Professor of Ophthalmology at University of Birmingham said, “Cellpenetrating peptides will drive the next generation of treatment for people with AMD. They will be transformative for patients who currently have to organise their lives around monthly clinic visits for uncomfortable intraocular injections, who will in the future have the convenience of self-administering their medical treatment.”