Age related macular degeneration (AMD) is one of several retinal diseases that can lead to vision loss and, ultimately, blindness. Dr. Bhisitkul explains that the class of anti-VEGF biologic drugs (Lucentis, Avastin, Eylea) can treat AMD, however, ongoing, monthly injections into the eye are required for the drugs to be fully effective. There are a number of drawbacks to this treatment regime, many of which could be mitigated by the development of a drug delivery device for implantation in the eye. Dr. Desai describes the work done in her lab to develop an injectable, biocompatible and biodegradable device that has the right release kinetics to successfully deliver needed drugs to the retina of patients with AMD.
- Lucentis is a drug used to treat wet age-related macular degeneration. It is an antibody fragment against VEGF. What is VEGF? From what Dr. Bhisitkul mentioned about wet age-related macular degeneration, how do you think that blocking VEGF would help treat this disease?
- Dr. Bhisitkul discusses the phase three clinical trial of Lucentis (7:08). What is a phase three clinical trial? What are the other phases of clinical trials?
- Dr. Desai shows that her drug delivery device can release drug more consistently than drug injections in rabbits, maintaining drug concentrations in the therapeutic window for longer periods of time. What are some next steps that should be taken to show that this method of drug delivery is more beneficial for patients?
- What are some possible safety concerns with Dr. Desai’s drug delivery device?
- The drug delivery device was designed so that it could be used in various situations. What are some other possible applications of this drug delivery technology in other body systems?