Low-level electrical current delivers long-lasting drugs in the eye

Many ophthalmologists can tell you that patient compliance is one of the biggest hindrances to proper treatment. That's because there is some squeamishness about repeatedly squeezing a liquid into the eye. And, of course, much of the medication is lost using this low-tech method. According to John Sheppard, who is on the advisory board of Waltham, MA-based Eyegate Pharma, his company's drug-delivery technology provides a solution to the compliance issue, among others.

The tech can be summed up in one word: iontophoresis. That's a system in which a low-level electrical current ionizes a drug and modifies the permeability of the cells. This allows for enhanced penetration.

Sheppard told Ocular Surgery News that iontophoresis ensures that high concentrations of the drugs remain in the eye for a long time. "We found that with this technology, delivery of steroidal or nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs or even glaucoma medications can be accomplished with a single 3-minute application and an enduring effect of at least four to six weeks or even more," Sheppard told OSN.

Eyegate's technology, he said, takes care of compliance issues and reduces costs while also providing a "noninvasive method of delivering and maintaining the drug in the eye for a long period of time."

- read the report in Ocular Surgery News