EyeGate Pharmaceuticals has long envisioned using a low-voltage electrical current to deliver a drug treatment to the eye. Researchers testing the company's device to perform just such a task trekked to Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates, this past week to detail promising Phase III trial results that reach endpoints for both safety and effectiveness.
Medscape Today covered the news, direct from the World Ophthalmology Congress 2012.
The Waltham, MA, company tested 181 patients in a multicenter randomized trial with its EyeGate II Delivery System, which uses a process called iontophoresis. According to the company, a physician or technician attaches the device to the forehead and uses a low-level electrical current over three minutes to ionize a drug so it becomes more permeable and reaches the eye's anterior and posterior segments. For the purpose of this latest trial, the device delivered the drug dexamethasone (EGP-347)--a long-used treatment for dry eye--into the antechamber of patients' affected eyes.
Results suggested that the drug improved dry eye symptoms versus placebo, and that the treatments were safe and well tolerated. Researchers noted differences in adverse events between high and low doses, such as blurred vision or eye pain. But they don't believe that there was any correlation with the strength of the dose, according to Medscape Today’s piece. The company believes its device is more effective, delivering a greater amount of the drug more quickly, than previous methods. It appears to also last for weeks and could help improve treatment compliance if the patient doesn’t need to use eye drops or an ointment all the time.
EyeGate raised the second half of a $22.6 million Series D venture funding in January 2010 to help fund late-stage trials of the drug.