Ocular Therapeutix is developing sustained release prostaglandin analogs for the treatment of glaucoma and ocular hypertension. Inserted non-invasively through the punctum, the plug resides within the canaliculus, delivering travoprost to the ocular surface over a period of several months. The product also contains a visualization aid to monitor retention over the treatment period. After therapy is complete, the hydrogel resorbs and exits the nasolacrimal system, so there is no need for removal.
In a recent clinical study (see figure below), Ocular Therapeutix demonstrated a >20% reduction in intraocular pressure (IOP) from baseline over a two month period, demonstrating efficacy of the travoprost sustained release punctum plugs (OTX-TP2) for the treatment of ocular hypertension and glaucoma. Results are comparable to topical brand name prostaglandin analog ophthalmic solutions.1
*Data on file, Ocular Therapeutix, Inc.
Glaucoma is a sight-threatening disease caused by elevated intraocular pressure. Over time, this elevated pressure leads to degeneration of cells which make up the optic nerve, slowly decreasing vision. Almost 2.3 million Americans age 40 and older have been diagnosed with the disease,2 costing over $1.8 billion in prescriptions each year in the US alone. According to the World Health Organization, it is the second leading cause of blindness worldwide.3 It is a chronic condition which cannot be prevented or reversed, and therefore must be monitored for life.
Prostaglandin analog ophthalmic drops lower intraocular pressure, managing the progression of the disease. However, since glaucoma affects a primarily elderly population, many of those afflicted with the disease have difficulty complying with the required dosing regimen or being able to self-administer eye drops. In fact, it has been reported that up to 60% of glaucoma patients do not administer ophthalmic drops as directed, even though patients’ perception is that they are compliant with 97% of their dosing.4 Poor adherence to prescription regimens is of great concern to healthcare practitioners since consequences of non-compliance can lead to costly and invasive surgeries, vision impairment, or blindness. Prostaglandin analog punctum plugs may help manage the issues of non-compliance by vastly reducing dosing frequency.