With the high number of retirees here on the Gold Coast, at Envision Optical our optometrists have hundreds of patients who need to undergo regular treatments to control eye diseases such as macular degeneration. There’s some recent news that is potentially very exciting for patients and their families who are forced to undergo uncomfortable eye injections to treat their eye conditions. Drugs used to treat blindness-causing disorders could be successfully administered by eye drops rather than unpleasant and expensive eye injections, according to new research led by University College London scientists.
The research findings are significant due to the ageing population and the increasing numbers of people found to suffer from macular degeneration, with the subsequent increasing demand for the eye injections that halt the progression of the disease. The research, demonstrated in animal models and published in nanotechnology journal Small, demonstrates that it is possible to create formulations of tiny nanoparticles loaded with the AMD drug Avastin and deliver significant concentrations to the back of the eye.
Effective delivery of drugs to the retina of the eye is considered one of the most challenging areas in drug development in ophthalmology, due to the presence of anatomical barriers. It was previously thought that drugs used to treat AMD such as Avastin and Lucentis have molecules that are simply too large to be effectively transported in an eye drop.
This is an exciting development, and one that I’m sure many of my patients look forward to becoming clinical reality one day.