Topical delivery of Ranibizumab for non-invasive treatment of retinal disease (360G-Wellcome-106942_Z_15_Z)
Age-related macular degeneration (AMD) is a major cause of blindness, affecting 30- 50 million people worldwide, with a rising incidence due to the rapidly increasing aging population. Current treatments, of which Ranibizumab is the most frequently prescribed, involve monthly injections into the eye to block a protein known as VEGF (vascular endothelial growth factor), responsible for new blood vessel formation. However, at £85 million/year in the UK, injections carry a high burden to the health system, requiring specialist-clinic administration. There is a clear, unmet need for anti-VEGF treatments therefore to be non-invasive, easy to administer and less expensive. Professor M Francesca Cordeiro and her team at UCL have developed a formulation that can be used to replace monthly hospital-administered intraocular anti-VEGF injections with daily self-administered eye-drops. This project aims to optimize the formulation for Ranibizumab, develop its manufacturing process, and assess its safety and tolerability to enable it to be tested in First-in-Man clinical trials. If successful, the Ranibizumab eye-drop will lead to widespread treatment programmes - potentially reducing the burden of AMD on the individual and society by changing the way treatment is delivered within five to seven years.
£1,666,193 16 Apr 2015