Clearside's novel eye drug delivery tech shows promise in latest clinical trial

Eyecare company Clearside Biomedical announced that patients treated with its injectable eye disease candidate demonstrated improved vision, as it tries to become the first to commercialize suprachoroidal delivery.

Most eye drugs are injected deeper into the eye in the vitreous chamber, but Retina Today reports that suprachoroidal delivery avoids some of the risks of intravitreal delivery including vitreous hemorrhage, retinal detachment, and the proliferation of visual "floaters." It also concentrates the drug in the appropriate part of the eye, according to the article.

Courtesy of National Eye Institute, NIH

Clearside's Phase I/II formulation of the commercially available corticosteroid triamcinolone acetonide is delivered into the eye's suprachoroidal space, located right under the outer layer of the eye (or sclera), using Clearside's proprietary microinjector.

Clearside says patients with noninfectious uveitis in the 8-person trial demonstrated improvement in a test of vision that uses an eye chart associated with diabetic retinopathy, a leading cause of blindness in the U.S. Uveitis causes about 10% of the incidence of blindness in the U.S. and affects about 350,000 Americans, the company says.

Patients in the clinical trial exhibited a meaningful reduction in retinal thickness, which is associated with macular edema (accumulation of fluids within the retina), one of the most common causes of visual impairment in patients with uveitis.

Clearside said none of the patients in the trial experienced a meaningful increase in intraocular pressure, which is a common side effect seen when steroids are delivered via intravitreal injection or in the form of eye drops.

"Delivery of drug to the suprachoroidal space may provide therapeutic effect close to the source of retinal and choroidal pathology, which may in turn have an impact on the dose required to achieve a benefit, as well as on the duration of effect," said Dr. Debra Goldstein, professor of medicine at the Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine, in a statement.

Clearside has three candidates in its portfolio, all administered using suprachoroidal delivery. The candidate for noninfectious uveitis is in Phase I/II, while its candidate for macular edema associated with retinal vein occlusion is in Phase II.

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