Aerie Pharmaceuticals has announced plans to apply polymer implant technology from Dutch materials company DSM toward development of small molecule drug delivery systems, with an initial focus on retinal diseases. 

    DSM's novel polyesteramide polymer (PEA) injectable fibers allow controlled release of a drug over a customizable period, ranging from several days to multiple months. The amino-acid-based fiber rods can also be extruded to combine with difficult or less soluble active agents. 

    Preclinical experiments of the implant with Aerie compounds have demonstrated early success, including linear sustained elution rates over several months at target retinal drug concentrations. 

    According to the press release, Aerie's first application of the technology will be a PEA implant for delivery of AR-13154, a Rho kinase and protein kinase C inhibitor for reducing vascular dysfunction, fibrosis and inflammation. Preclinical studies have shown that this small molecule compound has the potential to decrease lesion size in wet AMD, and reduce neovascularization in proliferative diabetic retinopathy (PDR). 

    "A key to unlocking the potential of AR-13154 and related Aerie-owned compounds for the treatment of retinal diseases is the identification of the appropriate technology to achieve longer-term sustained delivery of our small molecules to the back of the eye,” said Vicente Anido, Jr., PhD, chairman and CEO at Aerie. “We are hopeful that DSM's PEA technology may prove to be that technology."