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Tiny Cup Attached to Eye Improves Drug Delivery For Retinal Diseases
Date:8/7/2009

LOS ANGELES, Aug. 7 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- A new drug delivery system that uses a tiny silicone cup filled with any drug and sealed to the outer surface (episclera) of the eyeball may offer a more effective method for the sustained delivery of medicines for retinal and vitreous diseases, according to a new report by A. Linn Murphree, M.D, director of the Retinoblastoma Program in The Vision Center at Children's Hospital Los Angeles. Dr. Murphree is also Professor of Ophthalmology and Pediatrics at the Keck School of Medicine of the University of Southern California and attending physician at the Doheny Eye Institute.

In his invited presentation, made July 30th, 2009 at the Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology (ARVO) Summer Eye Research Conference on Ophthalmic Drug Delivery Systems in Bethesda, MD, Dr. Murphree said the device, called an episcleral drug reservoir, holds the potential to fundamentally change how we deliver medications to the eye for diseases like macular degeneration, diabetic retinopathy, uveitis, endophthalmitis and retinoblastoma. Working much like an organ-specific transdermal skin patch, the tiny cup isolates the medication targeted to the eye from being absorbed into the blood stream. This new delivery system is a safe and non-invasive way to deliver effective doses of medications to the interior of the eye over long periods of time (weeks to months). Currently drops, periocular injections and intraocular injections are used to deliver medications to the eye but generally for short periods of time.

Dr. Murphree, who is a recipient of a National Institutes of Health RAID grant which provides funding for the development of procedures leading to clinical trials, believes the development of this type of delivery device represents a paradigm shift in the way physicians will deliver drugs to all organ systems in the future.

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SOURCE Children's Hospital Los Angeles
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