Treatment of eye diseases is severely hindered by the tear fluid and eye lid movement. As a consequence, very frequent administration of highly concentrated eye drops is necessary, causing poor compliance and substantial side effects. These side effects occur very often and can range from simple irritations to life threatening anaphylactic shocks in extreme cases. The other shortcoming in eye-related diseases, lack of compliance, is a very well-known and well-studied problem. In general, only 60% of all people are able to correctly follow medical advice when having to take eye drops three times a day.
We have developed a drug carrier for eye drops based on DNA nanoparticles that have high affinity to the cornea. This allows for a drastically lower concentration of the active compounds and less frequent administration. A lower regime results in a better compliance and a higher effectiveness of the drugs. Moreover, side effects will be significantly less due to the lower drug concentration. These nanoparticles can be combined with a wide variety of ophthalmic drugs, including the ones that have been abandoned due to severe side effects.
Our approach has been validated during preclinical studies in rat models and even life human tissue using two nanoparticle-antibiotic combinations that have shown exceptionally long lasting survival times on the eye of up to four hours. Using this new paradigm we will formulate eye drops for two indications: glaucoma and infections. Glaucoma medication currently is a $5.6 billion market and holds great opportunities for new players due to a relatively weak pipeline for new compounds and recent patent expiries. For anti-infective medication the current market is $1.4 billion. With our new delivery platform a significant share in both markets can be expected.