• Nanotechnology for Anti-VEGF Delivery

    While we know that anti-VEGF agents are effective against several retinal conditions, the current delivery method is plagued with problems, from the need for regular intravitreal shots to the peaks and troughs of medication effects. Nanotechnology may offer an alternative, said William F. Mieler, MD, at Monday’s Spotlight Session on nanotechnology.

    Speaking of the efforts of his research team, Dr. Mieler said, “The goal is to release anti-VEGF medication in a controlled manner for 4 to 6 months.” The team’s line of investigation employs microspheres and a thermoresponsive hydrogel, in which the drug is encapsulated. The microspheres are fully biodegradable, thus eliminating the need to retrieve an implant, Dr. Mieler said, and they have the advantage of already being FDA approved. The hydrogels not only protect and stabilize the drug proteins during the manufacturing process but also respond to body temperature.

    Dr. Mieler’s current research involves delivery of ranibizumab in vitro and in vivo (with an animal model). The drug shows biological activity up to 195 days after its controlled release, Dr. Mieler said, and further release beyond this time frame is being investigated.—Jean Shaw

    Financial disclosures. Dr. Mieler—Genentech: C.

    Disclosure key. C = Consultant/Advisor; E = Employee; L = Speakers bureau; O = Equity owner; P = Patents/Royalty; S = Grant support.