Time-release coating developed to keep AMD drug in eye longer

timerA new drug-delivery system developed by a team of biomedical engineers at Johns Hopkins will enable a new wet macular degeneration drug to stay in the eye longer meaning fewer injections. The research team tested their new drug and its time-release coating in mice that had similar eye abnormalities as are found in people with the wet form of macular degeneration.

Details of the study will be published in the October 2013 issue of the journal Biomaterials. The new drug that was developed is made of a short piece of protein that blocks the growth of unwanted blood vessels. The current drug therapies used to treat wet AMD are longer protein pieces that could become inactive if treated with a biodegradable coating. The researchers were able to create a non-toxic biodegradable coating which slowed the release and depletion of the drug.

Researchers then tested the drug in mice and discovered that the drug remained in the eyes of the mice for at least 14 weeks which is more than three times as long as the current treatment. Researchers are hopeful that the treatment may last even longer in humans but human clinical trials will not begin until further testing is conducted in animals.*

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