Nanyang Technological University and Singapore Eye Research Institute have successfully developed a nanomedicine for glaucoma patients which only have to be administered once every six months. The new nanomedicine will do away with daily eyedrops that only last a few hours, while this nanomedicine will last 6 months. Trials have been undergone successfully with 6 patients at Singapore National Eye Centre (SNEC) to positive results.
Named Liposomal Latanoprost, the nanomedicine offers similar effects to daily eyedrops. The differerence lies in the concentration of Liposome within the nanomedicine. The nanomedicine is administered by a doctor with a painless injection directly into th eyeball and will remain in the eye for a period of 6 months. Prof Subbu Venkatraman said that Liposomal Latanoprost is an example of a successful nanomedicine, whose trial only took 3-4 months to complete, a much lesser timeframe than past nanomedicine trials.
Prof Subbu predicts that the nanomedicine should hit markets in about two and a half years. In the meantime, 300 patient trial will be conducted by the company who now owns the nanomedicine.
Glaucoma is the leading cause of blindness worldwide. In Singapore, around 3% of 50+ year olds and 10%-12% of 70+ year olds suffer from glaucoma. SNEC sees about 10,000 glaucoma patients annually. Assoc Prof Tina Wong said that daily eyedrops often result in elderly patients forgetting to use the eyedrops and at least 10% of glaucoma patients worsen their cases by not using their eyedrops at a regular time. This nanomedicine is a breakthrough in the ophthalmology field.