SurModics, out of Eden Prairie, MN, has recently teamed up with Merck to test the company’s implantable intraocular drug delivery device, an intravitreal implant designed for delivery of drugs for conditions such as diabetic retinopathy and age-related macular degeneration, as well as anterior diseases such as glaucoma. The I-vation™ Sustained Drug Delivery System has now entered Phase IIb of clinical trial in patients with diabetic macular edema.
From the device brochure:
SurModics has developed the I-vation Sustained Drug Delivery System for the sustained release of drugs to the back of the eye. The I-vation platform offers a great deal of versatility and flexibility for formulation and pharmacokinetics control. The sustained drug delivery system leverages SurModics’ proven polymer technology with a unique scaffold designed for minimally nvasive implantation. The implant’s small diameter enables implantation through a pars plana needlestick less than 0.5 mm in diameter. The unique helical design maximizes the surface area available for drug delivery, and ensures secure anchoring of the implant against the sclera, keeping it out of the visual field and facilitating retrieval. The thin cap is designed to reside under the conjunctival membrane of the eye.
The I-vation system is positioned to take advantage of Sur-Modics’ patented drug delivery technology which utilizes combinations of durable and biodegradable polymers and drug. The release of drug from these coatings is controlled by the drug loading and the composition of the polymer components, both of which influence the rate at which drug diffuses out of the coating. In addition, SurModics has a range of polymer systems which confer added flexibility to the sustained delivery system, allowing for controlled delivery of a range of therapeutic molecules from small hydrophobic drugs to larger macromolecules and proteins.