Icon Biosciences Starting New Trials of Sustained Release Drug Delivery for Post-Op Cataract Patients

January 6, 2010

Icon Biosciences, Inc., (IBI) announced that they are entering Phase 2/Phase 3 clinical trials for their proprietary sustained release system designed to control inflammation in post-op cataract patients.  The product, IBI-10090, will be introduced into the eye at the end of cataract surgery and will release its product for 2-3 weeks before complete bioabsorption.  IBI-10090 is based on the IBI’s proprietary Verisome™ drug delivery system.  IBI has other products under testing based on this system.

Icon Biosciences joins Allergan (Ozurdex™) (web site not current), Surmodics (I-vation™) and Alimera (Iluvien®) in the ophthalmic drug delivery arena.  While Allergan was the first to gain FDA approval for their intraocular drug delivery system, Alimera has recently announce positive results in their ongoing Phase 3 trial scheduled to end this year.  Iluvien may be used to treat diabetic macular edema.

Surmodics’ products, based on the I-vation system, are being tested for macular edema and macular degeneration.

What Does This Mean? This is an exciting new era that began with Ozurdex gaining FDA approved last summer.   While each company has slight variations in their particular delivery system and differ in the diseases/pharmacology treated, it is clear that the trend in ophthalmic therapeutics is with intraocular sustained release technology.  None of the “drugs” tested, or introduced (as in the case of Allergan) is actually new, but the uniqueness is in the delivery system.

Most of the anticipated products are geared toward treating posterior segment disease; namely macular degeneration, uveitis and diabetic retinopathy.  With the possible introduction of IBI’s product, other “diseases” are becoming targeted.  Some of these systems may release their product for up to a year or more.  Glaucoma seems to be the next plausible “suspect.”

Randall V. Wong, M.D.
Retina Specialist Fairfax Virginia




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