Scientists at the University of Birmingham in the UK say they have developed a type of eye drop that could potentially revolutionize the treatment of age-related macular degeneration (AMD), according to a university news release.
The results of the collaborative research, published in Investigative Ophthalmology and Visual Science, could spell the end of injections directly into the eye to treat the increasingly common eye disorder. AMD affects more than 600,000 people in the UK and predictions suggest this figure could rise sharply in future because of an aging population.
Scientists led by biochemist Dr. Felicity de Cogan, from the University of Birmingham’s Institute of Inflammation and Ageing, have invented a method of delivering the injected drug as an eye drop instead, and their laboratory research has obtained the same outcomes as the injected drug.
The drop uses a cell-penetrating peptide (CPP) to deliver the drug to the relevant part of the eye within minutes. Dr. de Cogan said: “The CPP-drug has the potential to have a significant impact on the treatment of AMD by revolutionising drug-delivery options.
“Efficacious self-administered drug application by eye drop would lead to a significant reduction in adverse outcomes and health care costs compared with current treatments," Dr. Cogan said. “The CPP-plus drug complex also has potential application to other chronic ocular diseases that require drug delivery to the posterior chamber of the eye. We believe this is going to be very important in terms of empowering of patients and reducing the cost of treatment to the NHS.”