Newswise — Rockville, Md. – New research being presented at the virtual 2021 Annual Meeting of the Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology (ARVO) demonstrates a novel refillable implant dubbed the Port Delivery System with ranibizumab (PDS) can continuously release the anti-VEGF drug ranibizumab—a proven therapy—into the eye(s) of patients with neovascular age-related macular degeneration (nAMD). PDS is currently an investigational therapy being developed by Genentech, a member of the Roche Group, and is not yet approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. 

Inspired by studies that highlight the fact that patients with nAMD are oftentimes not receiving consistent treatment, thus impacting their vision, the research team from the University of California, San Francisco, led by Jay M. Stewart, MD, sought to develop the PDS as another therapy that would provide consistent treatment and simultaneously reduce the burden of frequent eye injections for patients.  

Consisting of an eye implant approximately the size of a grain of rice that continuously releases ranibizumab, the PDS implant is refillable in the clinic and is covered by the upper eyelid under normal conditions. In their study, the implant consistently released ranibizumab over several months. During the implant refill, almost all the ranibizumab remaining in the implant was replaced with a new supply of drug. Stewart’s team then tested PDS for the treatment of nAMD, or wet AMD, and demonstrated that those who received PDS with refills every 24 weeks had similar vision outcomes to people who received monthly ranibizumab injections.  

Their research confirms that PDS can release ranibizumab continuously and with a reproducible release rate into the eye, both at the PDS initial fill and the six-month refill, solidifying PDS’ potential to reduce the need for frequent eye injections. 

“If approved, PDS could represent a paradigm shift for people with nAMD by providing a treatment option that consistently delivers medicine, while only needing to be refilled twice per year,” Stewart highlights. “I’m excited to share these data as they provide further evidence that PDS may offer effective, reliable results while also alleviating the treatment burden for nAMD patients and their caregivers.” 

Abstract title: The port delivery system with ranibizumab (PDS)  a new paradigm for long-acting retinal drug delivery 

Presentation start/end time: Monday, May 3, 2021, 4:30 – 6:15pm ET 

Presentation number: 3544057 

 

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The Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology (ARVO) is the largest eye and vision research organization in the world. Members include approximately 10,000 eye and vision researchers from over 75 countries. ARVO advances research worldwide into understanding the visual system and preventing, treating and curing its disorders. Learn more at ARVO.org.