A Melbourne-based biotech, PolyActiva, has attracted $16 million in venture capital for a clinical trial of a unique eye implant that experts say can sharply improve treatment of the blindness-causing condition.
PolyActiva’s ‘polymer prodrug’ technology virtually eliminates human error by delivering the solution via a tiny ocular implant that is almost invisible alongside a 5¢ piece.
Implant biodegrades and disappears within 90 days
The implant can be inserted in the eye using a customised applicator in an ophthalmologist’s office. Once the treatment is completed the implant biodegrades and disappears within 90 days.
Reliably delivering drugs to the eye without the need for human intervention is a ‘holy grail’ for ophthalmologists.
Current treatment requires the patient to self-administer four drops of latanoprost ophthalmic solution – a topical medication known by the brand Xalatan – for six months, an exacting task that studies suggest defies 46 per cent of patients in some way.
Patients may forget to take the drops or do it poorly, which is bad because untreated glaucoma – a build up of pressure on the eye that the drops can relieve – often leads to blindness.
Seven patients in phase 1 clinical trial
Investors, led by Brandon Capital’s Medical Research Commercialisation Fund and Yuuwa Capital, a Perth-based early stage commercialisation fund, have stumped up the $16 million to fund phase I clinical trials of the
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