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Patent Awarded for Sustained Release Drug Implant in Eyes

Eyes closeup (Paleontour/Flickr)The company pSivida Corp., a medical device developer in Watertown, Massachusetts, has received a patent for its system to continuously deliver drugs to the eyes. The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office awarded patent number 8,192,408 yesterday (5 June) to four inventors, including pSivida vice-presidents Martin Nazzaro and Hong Guo, and assigned it to pSivida.

The patent covers the technology, configured as a miniaturized trocar and cannula — pointed inserter and thin channel — for a minimally-invasive entry to the back of the eye and delivery of a drug payload to affected tissue. The device is designed to deliver continuous doses over a period of weeks or even months, to meet the needs of patients for whom large doses of drugs given at once can be harmful, or smaller amounts may be washed out by tears.

The company anticipates using the technology in its Medidur line of drug delivery devices for ophthalmology, as well as oncology and cardiology. pSivida says the devices can be made either as bioerodable or non-erodable, depending on the application, and can be administered in an office visit rather than requiring hospitalization.

The company has licensed Medidur to the drug companies Alimera Sciences  and Pfizer for the development of ophthalmic products. Alimera Sciences is also testing pSivida’s Iluvien treatment for diabetic macular edema has completed two phase 3 clinical trials. A New Drug Application for Iluvien is currently under review at the FDA.

pSivida says the patent can be applied as well to its Durasert bioerodible implantable delivery device system, now in development with Pfizer. That system is designed for a sustained release implant of latanoprost, a topical eye medication used to reduce pressure inside the eye for treating ocular hypertension and glaucoma. Durasert is in early-stage clinical trials to test for safety and efficacy of the implant.

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Photo: Paleontour/Flickr

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