Johns Hopkins biomedical engineers have teamed up with clinicians to create a new drug-delivery strategy for a type of central vision loss caused by blood vessel growth at the back of the eye, where such growth should not occur. In addition to testing a new drug that effectively stops such runaway vessel growth in mice, the team gave the drug a biodegradable coating to keep it in the eye longer. If proven effective in humans, the engineers say, it could mean only two or three needle sticks to the eye per year instead of the monthly injections that are the current standard of care.
The new drug, in its time-release coating, was tested in mice with abnormalities similar to those experienced by people with neovascular age-related macular degeneration, or ‘wet’ AMD.
‘If you lose central vision, you can’t drive a car and you can’t see your grandchildren,’ says Jordan Green, Ph.D., assistant professor of biomedical engineering and ophthalmology at The Johns Hopkins University. ‘You’re willing to do what it takes to keep your sight. We hope that our system will work in people, and make invasive treatments much less frequent, and therefore easier to comply with, and safer.’
According to Peter Campochiaro, M.D., the George S. & Dolores Dor