Business eyes up development of new glaucoma treatment

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Ocular Therapeutics has signed non-disclosure agreements with two of the largest pharmaceutical firms in the world. The unnamed companies are interested in a new treatment approach in the largest of the ophthalmic markets.

Ocular Therapeutics has signed non-disclosure agreements with two of the largest pharmaceutical firms in the world. The unnamed companies are interested in a new treatment approach in the largest of the ophthalmic markets.

One of the reasons these large entities are so interested in this project is because of a recent article in the Review of Ophthalmology which supports the development of a new class of glaucoma drugs now being tested by Canadian Bio Med Systems, Inc. (CBMS). The article entitled Glaucoma Drugs: The Search for New Options, quotes David Epstein, MD, Chairman of Ophthalmology at Duke University School of Medicine. Dr Epstein points out that the approach of improving aqueous outflow in the eye is: "The most logical approach to treating glaucoma."

The new compound being developed by CBMS in conjunction with Ocular Therapeutics, specifically targets a portion of the eye, Schlemm's Canal, which is critical in achieving aqueous outflow and lowering intraocular pressure. This novel approach to treatment may require application of the drug every three months, or even less often, rather that twice per day. It could revolutionize the treatment for glaucoma.

Dr Epstein points out the commercial aspects of such a potential drug that improves aqueous outflow by saying that when such a drug is developed "you will see every major pharmaceutical company jump on the bandwagon and want to have an outflow drug" he says, "Then in retrospect, every one will say 'Why didn't we work on this drug sooner."

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