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The better to see you with
June 2010
by David Hutton  |  Email the author
EDIT CONNECT

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WALTHAM, Mass.EyeGate Pharma announced recently that it will collaborate with GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) to evaluate the delivery of several of the London-based pharma's therapies using an ocular delivery system.

Under the agreement, the companies will evaluate the delivery of several GSK therapies to the anterior and posterior tissues of the eye using the EyeGate II delivery system. Specific terms of the agreement were not disclosed.

According to the companies, the aging population and rising prevalence of ophthalmic disease have created demand for improved ocular delivery methods. Currently available ocular drug delivery options, which include topical drops and intravitreal injections, have limitations and associated risks. Ophthalmic drops are poorly absorbed into ocular tissues and can result in significant systemic concentrations. Intravitreal injections can lead to hemorrhaging, retinal detachment, endophalmitis and other complications.

Stephen From, president and CEO of EyeGate Pharma, explains that the company has developed a novel, non-invasive device that uses low-level electrical current to deliver drug substances to targeted areas of the eye. Specifically, the EyeGate II delivery system uses iontophoresis to administer therapeutics to the eye.

"Our research collaboration with GlaxoSmithKline seeks to demonstrate the ability of EyeGate's proprietary technology in delivering GSK molecules targeted to areas of the eye," From says. "A low-level of electrical current ionizes a drug and modifies the permeability of cells, allowing the therapeutic to be delivered through tissues to targeted areas."

EyeGate believes this improves on alternative drug delivery systems, such as ophthalmic drops and intravitreal injections, by offering superior absorption and reduced risk. Furthermore, EyeGate II gives the doctor direct control of the dosing. This addresses compliance issues, enables rapid onset of action and allows for the dose to be varied in response to different patients' needs.

EyeGate is the first company to conduct multiple controlled clinical trials to assess the safety and efficacy of iontophoresis technology to deliver therapeutics into the eye. EyeGate has successfully completed two Phase II studies of EGP-437, a corticosteroid solution administered by the EyeGate II delivery system: one in dry eye syndrome patients and one in anterior uveitis patients.

EyeGate is developing EGP-437, using the delivery technology for the treatment of anterior uveitis. In March, EyeGate completed a Phase II trial of the treatment, which From says showed "promising signs of efficacy."

EGP-437 is a dexamethasone- derived corticosteroid solution delivered using the EyeGate II technology. Data from the recently reported anterior uveitis study showed that a single treatment with EGP-437 led to half the subjects achieving an anterior cell score of zero within two weeks. By 28 days post-treatment, the majority of patients had achieved cell scores of zero and required no further treatment, the firm claims.

To further research, EyeGate secured $22.6 million in Series D venture financing, $11 million of which was available in December, with the remainder being held in reserve for future use.
 
 
Code: E061021

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