Ophthalmic Applications

     According to the National Eye Institute, treatable eye disease affect millions of people in the United States every year, at a cost measured in the billions of dollars. Direct health care costs, including pharmaceuticals and caregiver time, however, may underestimate the impact of lost productivity, reduced independence, diminished quality of life, increased depression and accelerated mortality. Diseases of the eye such as uveitis (eye inflammation), macular degeneration, and dry eye affect many people. Current treatments require administration of eye drops several times a day, which presents challenges in patient compliance and, for the elderly or infirm, added costs as drops need to be administered by caregivers.

     The Kohn Lab is collaborating with Lux Biosciences to focus on these diseases. We are creating combination products that bring a biomaterial, usually a tyrosine-derived polycarbonate, together with an active pharmaceutical agent.  These prototype drug delivery systems are designed to be inserted under the eye to deliver ophthalmic drugs for 6 to 12 months continuously while slowly degrading.  The elimination of the need to administer eye drops several times daily will not only increase patient compliance and improve clinical outcomes, but will also reduce the health care costs for millions of disabled or elderly patients who require assistance with the administration of conventional eye drops.

Development of a Bioerodible Polymeric Matrix for the Release of Voclosporin for Dry Eye Syndrome