It is estimated that 80 percent of all disease related visual impairments are actually preventable.1 Despite this, as many as 285 million people globally suffer from disease related visual impairments and blindness.2 Unfortunately, the safety and effectiveness of many medical therapies for ocular disorders are limited due to poor ocular drug uptake, non-specificity to target tissues, systemic side effects, and poor adherence to therapy. With a rapidly growing elderly population, the unmet medical needs in ocular disease has become even more pronounced and has emerged as a significant area of interest and potential growth for innovative drug development companies. With sales of nearly $13 billion in 2011, the global ophthalmology therapeutics market is expected to grow at a Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) of more than 6 percent to reach nearly $19 billion in sales by 2018 – a rate that is twice that of the pharmaceutical industry as a whole.3
To address these critical unmet needs, Liquidia is using its proprietary PRINT technology platform to rationally design and manufacture micro- and nano-particle systems for the treatment of ocular diseases. The PRINT particles, which can consist of both small molecule and biologic therapeutics, are designed and manufactured with the goal of improving the delivery, safety and efficacy of medicines used to treat ocular disease. Using the transformative PRINT particle engineering technology platform, Liquidia has the ability to precisely engineer particles of virtually any size, shape and chemistry and finely tune them to perform as highly targeted therapeutics with enhanced effectiveness and safety. Additionally, because patient compliance plays such a critical role in treating ocular disease, Liquidia has the ability to engineer therapeutic particles with tunable release kinetics that could significantly reduce dosing requirements to increase patient compliance.
Below is a summary of a couple of the applications Liquidia is currently pursuing in the area of ophthalmology:
Biodegradable PRINT Particle Implants
Using the PRINT technology and advanced techniques in polymer science, Liquidia is focused on developing safe and effective drug delivery systems based on biocompatible polymers that provide the delivery of medicines with sustained release kinetics. Specifically, Liquidia has the unique ability to design and fabricate biodegradable PRINT particle implants that can be placed in specific compartments of the eye in order to optimize therapeutic index and dosing. Also, because each particle is manufactured with precisely the same size, shape and chemistry, PRINT particle implants have unparalleled lot-to-lot and dose-to-dose consistency.
Topical therapies are well established and are widely used as an approach to treating ocular disease. Despite their popularity, topical therapies are subject to many limitations that could prevent a patient from achieving a full therapeutic benefit, including frequent dosing, limited efficacy and permeation, and poor patient compliance.
Using the PRINT technology platform, Liquidia is advancing the science of topical therapies for ocular disease. By leveraging the ability to rationally design precisely engineered particles, including particle shape and chemistry, Liquidia is creating particulate delivery systems that allow for highly homogenous distribution of topical therapies with the potential for increased retention and tolerability. Such advancements could allow for the delivery of topical therapies with improved therapeutic index using fewer doses and result in improved patient compliance and therapeutic outcomes.
1World Health Statistics. World Health Organization, 2010 ISBN 978 92 4 156398 7
2World Health Statistics. World Health Organization, 2011 ISBN 978 92 4 156419 9
3REPORT: Eye preparations: Top 10 Products in 2018 & Market Value for Therapy Area. EvaluatePharma®, October 23, 2012