In a press release this week, Surmodics, Inc., announced its agreement with Roche and Genentech, manufactureres of Lucentis® (ranibizumab), to develop a sustained release drug delivery system for the treatment of wet macular degeneration.
Surmodics has a drug delivery system based upon biodegradable microparticles that may potentially reduce the annual number injections of Lucentis® a patient receives for macular degeneration. The company has a 30 years history of drug delivery through microparticles, implants and coatings.
Right now, testing through the FDA is still in its infancy. Wait to hear more about this product after in enter phase 3 clinical trials. It is estimated that this will still be 3-5 years away.
What does this mean? Yet another sustained drug delivery system is in the works. Intraocular drug delivery systems are just emerging and the socio-economic impact will be dramatic. This may join the ranks of Alimera (Iluvien™) and Allergan (Ozurdex®). In the case of Lucentis®, fewer intraocular injections mean fewer procedures, possibly fewer trips to the doctor’s office, less “time-off” for medical appointment for both patient and family, and ………….perhaps better treatment results due to longer exposure to medicines via sustained release mechanisms.
Randall V. Wong, M.D.
Ophthalmologist, Retina Specialist