Soon, contact lens to treat glaucoma

Last Updated: Thursday, January 23, 2014 - 19:55
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New York: Here comes a glaucoma medicine sandwiched inside a specially-designed contact lens.

The lens, which can also correct vision, releases the eyesight-saving medication at a steady rate for up to a month.

The unique lens offers numerous potential clinical advantages over the standard glaucoma treatment and may have additional applications, such as delivering anti-inflammatory drugs or antibiotics to the eye, says a path-breaking research.

“People using traditional eye drops for glaucoma are not getting any symptomatic relief and they're not seeing better,” said Joseph Ciolino, an ophthalmologist who, along with his mentor Daniel Kohane, developed the new contact lens at Harvard Medical School.

What makes the new lens different from other prototypes is the many-layered construction that places a ring of drug-releasing film in standard, FDA-approved contact lens materials, said a report by the National Institute of General Medical Sciences, part of the National Institutes of Health (NIH).

The team showed in an animal model that their lens delivered the glaucoma medication - latanoprost - safely and consistently for four weeks at concentrations comparable to those achieved with daily eye drops.

The researchers hope a Phase I clinical trial to test the safety and ability of the lens to reduce pressure in the human eye could begin in about a year.

First Published: Thursday, January 23, 2014 - 19:55

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