Email Print Share
November 30, 2015

New delivery system for prescription eye drugs - Biotech's Future

Jade Therapeutics, a small business with funding from the National Science Foundation (NSF) Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) program, is solving a problem that has persisted in the ophthalmology and pharmacology industries for years. How to deliver medication to the eye in an easy and reliable way. Mary Jane Rafii, Jade Therapeutics COO, explains in this video.

Jade Therapeutics has engineered a technology that takes the form of a liquid, film or gel that can be loaded up with a medication, and then inserted into an eye where it will slowly release the medicine.

In the future, a doctor could place the gel into a person's eye, and that person could just go home. The platform delivers the drug without the need for eye drops or injections.

The person wouldn't even feel the gel in their eye, even as the medication is being delivered, according to Rafii.

The gel technology is made from hyaluronic acid, a substance already present in the human body. This allows the gel to dissolve in the eye after it has fully administered the drug, Rafii says.

One of the main challenges Jade Therapeutics faces to design the gel to dissolve at different lengths of time.

One eye disease may require the gel to remain in the eye for one day, while another may require it to remain for a month. In addressing that challenge, Rafii says the NSF grant "has been very good to us because it has helped us optimize that level of tailoring where we can go from a very quick a very much longer term."

One key area that this technology could be deployed is in a war where many injuries that occur happen in the eye.

Learn more about this technology and the NSF SBIR program. Watch other NSF-funded biotech stories.

Date originally posted: Nov. 30, 2015

Credit: NSF

Images and other media in the National Science Foundation Multimedia Gallery are available for use in print and electronic material by NSF employees, members of the media, university staff, teachers and the general public. All media in the gallery are intended for personal, educational and nonprofit/non-commercial use only.

Videos credited to the National Science Foundation, an agency of the U.S. Government, may be distributed freely. However, some materials within the videos may be copyrighted. If you would like to use portions of NSF-produced programs in another product, please contact the Video Team in the Office of Legislative and Public Affairs at the National Science Foundation.

Additional information about general usage can be found in Conditions.