Promise for Drug-Eluting Contact Lenses to Treat Glaucoma

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Latanoprost-eluting lenses as effective in monkeys as the standard eye drop treatment
Latanoprost-eluting lenses as effective in monkeys as the standard eye drop treatment

HealthDay News — Latanoprost-eluting contact lenses are effective at lowering intraocular pressure in a glaucoma model, according to an experimental study published online August 29 in Ophthalmology.

Joseph Ciolino, MD, an ophthalmologist at Massachusetts Eye and Ear and an assistant professor of ophthalmology at Harvard Medical School in Boston, and colleagues tested the effectiveness of latanoprost-eluting low-dose contact lenses (CLLO) in 4 monkeys with glaucoma. The drug-administering contact lenses have a medicated polymer film that slowly delivered latanoprost to the monkeys' eyes.

The team found that the CLLO reduced intraocular pressure as much as the daily ophthalmic solution version of the medication. And lenses that dispensed higher doses of the drug resulted in greater reduction of intraocular pressure than the eye drops.

"Instead of taking a contact lens and allowing it to absorb a drug and release it quickly, our lens uses a polymer film to house the drug, and the film has a large ratio of surface area to volume, allowing the drug to release more slowly," senior author Daniel Kohane, MD, PhD, director of the Laboratory for Biomaterials and Drug Delivery at Boston Children's Hospital, said in a news release from the Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary.

Two authors are named as inventors on a patent for the drug-eluting contact lens evaluated in this study.

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