Navigation Links
NTU launches new centre to develop new eye-deas for occular therapeutics
Date:1/29/2013

For glaucoma patients, taking daily medication will soon become a thing of the past.

Instead, with Nanyang Technological University's (NTU) newest solution, a simple, quick and painless injection four times a year would be enough.

The solution contains an anti-glaucoma drug wrapped in nano-sized capsules, and is delivered by an injection into the outer layer in the front of the eye (conjunctiva) by the doctor.

The nanocarrier will then slowly release the drug over several weeks. LipoLat, as it is known, is now ready for clinical trials.

Extensive pre-clinical studies have shown that this single injection is as effective at treating glaucoma as taking daily eye drops for up to 3 months.

Forgetting to administer the daily eye drops is the most common problem faced by glaucoma sufferers, and failure in taking the eyedrops correctly on a daily basis can result in a tragic and permanent loss of vision.

There are also many problems with eye drops, including allergies, unpleasant side effects, remembering to take them at the correct time, correct insertion technique, storage and hygiene.

Such an innovative 'eye-dea' like LipoLat is what NTU's latest research centre launched today - Ocular Therapeutic Engineering Centre - has as its mission.

Housed at NTU's School of Materials Science and Engineering, OTEC builds upon the School's successful research collaboration with the Singapore Eye Research Institute.

Centre Director, Professor Subbu Venkatraman, who is also the School Chair, said the centre will build on the strong research collaboration between clinical scientists and NTU technologists, to develop new drug delivery systems for the eye.

"I hope to showcase this as a good example of how close interactions between medical practitioners and technology providers can lead to rapid translation of ideas to the clinic, such as LipoLat," said Prof Venkatraman. "We are confident that the products co-developed at the centre will lead on to further discoveries and innovations in ocular therapy."

Working closely with Prof Venkatraman as the Co-Director of the centre is Dr Tina Wong, an Adjunct Associate Professor at the School of Materials Science and Engineering and a senior consultant at the Singapore National Eye Centre. She is also Head of the Ocular Therapeutics and Drug Delivery Research Group at the Singapore Eye Research Institute.

"Finding the right person with the scientific and technological know-how to help solve a clinical problem or improve the way in which we can treat our patients better is the vital first step to achieving a fruitful, long lasting, research collaboration," Dr Wong said. "Prof Venkatraman and I work well together as a team to bring cutting edge technological solutions to the clinic."

Dr Wong who is a recipient of the Clinician Scientist Award from the Ministry of Health, has developed, together with Prof Venkatraman, a novel glaucoma surgical implant and a sustained drug delivery gel for combating post-operative scarring following glaucoma surgeries. Both these innovations have shown to improve surgical outcomes in glaucoma from early studies.

Glaucoma is the leading cause of irreversible blindness worldwide and affects an estimated 80 million people. Glaucoma affects about 6 per cent of the Singapore population, of which 3 per cent are over the age of 50, and accounts for 40 per cent of blindness here. It is a chronic, lifelong condition and if untreated, causes loss of vision through irreparable damage to the optic nerve.

The Ocular Therapeutic Engineering Centre will have about ten full time scientists. Among its initial projects, which are individually funded by various funding sources and agencies, include an implantable device which can constantly monitor the pressure changes within the eye in real time.

Future projects

The centre is also looking into developing a novel nano-carrier system which will be able to deliver drugs for a sustained period of time, to the back of the eye, the retina, when injected in the front of the eye. Currently, only regular painful and invasive injections directly into the back of eye can deliver drugs to treat retinal diseases such as age-related macular degeneration and diabetic retinopathy.

Prof Venkatraman said he and his researchers look forward to working closely with NTU's new medical school, the Lee Kong Chian School of Medicine, which is jointly set up with Imperial College London.

The new medical school is set to take in its first batch of 50 students in July this year and is starting its research and development in infections and metabolic diseases and neuroscience.

Both the new ocular centre and the new medical school contribute to NTU's research strengths in Future Healthcare, which is one of the university's Five Peaks of Excellence.

The Peaks of Excellence are five key areas of research which NTU hopes to make a global mark in by 2015 under its 5-year strategic plan. The other peaks include Sustainability, New Media, Innovation Asia, and the Best of East and West.


'/>"/>
Contact: Lester Kok
lesterkok@ntu.edu.sg
65-679-06804
Nanyang Technological University
Source:Eurekalert  

Related biology news :

1. LABS, Inc. Launches Suite of Next-Generation Test Offerings; Focuses on Expanding Complex Biologic Testing Portfolio in 2012
2. Elsevier launches new journal Algal Research
3. Clinical trial launches to see whether vitamin D helps treat multiple sclerosis
4. Thomson Reuters Launches Life Sciences Partner Ecosystem to Drive Collaborative R&D Drug Processes
5. WanderID Launches Breakthrough ID Product for Children, Seniors
6. Wiley-Blackwell launches new open-access journal: Food Science & Nutrition
7. MindSpec launches online Autism Reading Room
8. NineSigma Launches NineSights, the Worlds First Open Innovation Social Media Destination for Innovation Seekers and Solution Providers
9. PuraMed BioScience®, Inc., Launches a Marketing Blitz for LipiGesic® M, Its Clinically-Tested Migraine Pain Reliever in the Denver, CO Region to Coincide with the NACDSs Marketplace 2012 Trade Convention
10. NIST launches new website to educate industry about alternatives to mercury thermometers
11. Spectros Launches OnCall Wireless Remote Access for T-Stat
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
Related Image:
NTU launches new centre to develop new eye-deas for occular therapeutics
(Date:6/2/2016)... NEW YORK , June 2, 2016   The ... (Weather), is announcing Watson Ads, an industry-first capability in which ... advertising, by being able to ask questions via voice or ... Marketers have long ... with the consumer, that can be personal, relevant and valuable; ...
(Date:5/24/2016)... IRVINE, Calif. , May 24, 2016 Ampronix facilitates superior patient care ... LMD3251MT  3D medical LCD display is the latest premium product recently added to ... ... ... Sony 3d Imaging- LCD Medical Display- Ampronix News ...
(Date:5/12/2016)... , May 12, 2016 WearablesResearch.com ... just published the overview results from the Q1 wave ... the recent wave was consumers, receptivity to a program ... data with a health insurance company. "We ... to share," says Michael LaColla , CEO of ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:6/23/2016)... , June 23, 2016  Blueprint Bio, a company ... to the medical community, has closed its Series A ... Nunez . "We have received a commitment ... capital we need to meet our current goals," stated ... us the runway to complete validation on the current ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... ... June 23, 2016 , ... ... at the Pennsylvania Convention Center and will showcase its product’s latest features from ... also be presenting a scientific poster on Disrupting Clinical Trials in The Cloud ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... , June 22, 2016  Amgen (NASDAQ: ... the QB3@953 life sciences incubator to accelerate ... The shared laboratory space at QB3@953 was created to ... key obstacle for many early stage organizations - access ... the sponsorship, Amgen launched two "Amgen Golden Ticket" awards, ...
(Date:6/22/2016)... , June 22, 2016 Research and ... Global Markets" report to their offering. ... billion in 2014 from $29.3 billion in 2013. The market is ... of 13.8% from 2015 to 2020, increasing from $50.6 billion in ... projected product forecasts during the forecast period (2015 to 2020) are ...
Breaking Biology Technology: