May 21, 2018
1 min read

Clinical trials scheduled for drug-eluting contact lens

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Keith Ignotz
Keith D. Ignotz

OcuMedic Inc. announced that it expects to begin clinical studies for its drug-eluting contact lens technology this year.

Developed by biomedical researchers at Rowan University and Auburn University, the technology controls the release of anti-inflammatory, antibiotic and pain-reducing drugs to be delivered evenly and over time, according to a press release from OcuMedic Inc.

The company said it expects to begin an in vivo study for the FDA this year, progressing into phase 1 and 2 human trials in 2019.

This technology has the potential to reduce surgical recovery time, postoperative complications and health care costs, OcuMedic said in the release. It may also be used in dry eye disease and glaucoma.

Keith D. Ignotz, MBA, president and CEO of OcuMedic, told Primary Care Optometry News that an optometrist would place the device after cataract surgery to mitigate inflammation and pain with controlled release therapy, then remove it, and it could be a new source of revenue.

“The most frequent use [for optometrists] will be a clear lens [with] no power, thus like a corneal bandage,” Ignotz said.

He noted that OcuMedic is loading a frequently prescribed first-line anti-inflammatory drug into the lens.

Inventor of the technology, Mark E. Byrne, PhD, founding head and professor of Biomedical Engineering at Rowan University, and OcuMedic have received approximately $1.85 million in funding to date, including research funding from the NIH and an undisclosed amount from a national Angel investor group, according to the release. The company is staging for a Series A funding in the $4 million range. – by Abigail Sutton

Disclosures: Byrne has received funding from the NIH and Angel investor group. Ignotz is employed by OcuMedic.