Ocular Therapeutix’s proprietary hydrogel technology uses polyethylene glycol (PEG) to create innovative ophthalmic sustained drug delivery systems. Due primarily to their high water content, hydrogels resemble natural living tissue more than any other type of synthetic biomaterial. PEG-based materials are used in a broad number of medical products including artificial tears, prescription drugs, medical implants, and drug delivery depots. As a result, these materials have undergone extensive biocompatibility and safety testing and enjoy broad market acceptance. Additionally, their synthetic nature reduces the risks or complications associated with medical technologies based on biological components.
Sustained Release Drug Delivery
Ocular Therapeutix is able to encapsulate ophthalmic pharmaceuticals within its hydrogel to deliver sustained and therapeutic levels of drugs to targeted ocular tissues. When necessary, secondary encapsulation with microparticles can be tailored to provide the desired duration of therapy (from days to months), and are compatible with a wide range of ophthalmic medications.
The hydrogel provides containment, localization and protection from inflammatory response, providing what we believe is an ideal material for sustained delivery of drugs to the eye. Ocular’s intracanalicular hydrogel depots can be inserted non-invasively through the punctum for ocular surface or anterior segment therapies, or injected intravitreally for posterior segment therapies. Sustained drug delivery depots also provide more consistent dosing therapy than topical eye drops by avoiding the large variances in drug concentration (see figure below).
Additional benefits of sustained ocular drug delivery over topical dosing methods include:
- Improved compliance
- Reduced dosing frequency
- Sustained delivery over time
- Reduced patient burden
- May improve safety and efficacy
Ocular Therapeutix’s first FDA-approved medical device, ReSure® Sealant, is a two-part synthetic liquid system that is mixed just prior to application, whereupon the material “crosslinks” to form a hydrogel that is soft, lubricious and flexible. The hydrogel contains linkages which gradually hydrolyze in the presence of water at a predetermined rate, gradually sloughing off in the patient’s tears.