The WebEx link for theupcoming lecture is available here.
Traditional methods of delivering drugs to the eye include eyedrops and injections directly into the back of the eye. However, these methods are typically ineffective, requiring high doses and multiple treatments for efficacy and in many cases suffer from compliance issues. Polymeric drug delivery has the potential to overcome some of these limitations, providing more constant doses of the drug of interest over a prolonged period of time, with less need for patient input. The talk will focus on technologies developed through the C20/20 Innovation Hub. A mucoadhesive micelle based formulation has been widely examined for the release of a number of different drugs including cyclosporine A for the treatment of dry eye disease. Models of disease demonstrate that a single drop given twice per week is as efficacious as twice daily drops of Restasis, the current FDA approved formulation. Ongoing work including new formulations with alternative binding mechanisms as well as mucopenetrative systems will be discussed. Binding the mucosa of the eye was shown to occur for periods of up to 10 days. Ongoing work including new formulations with alternative binding mechanisms as well as mucopenetrative systems will be discussed. In the back of the eye, injectable, in situ gelable formulations have been examined for the delivery of various therapeutics, including protein therapeutics. The formulations have been shown to be safe and ongoing work is focused on extending release periods to as much as 6 months. Work on the optimization of these formulations will be described.
Heather Sheardown is a Professor in the Department of Chemical Engineering with a cross appointment to the Department of Pathology and Molecular Medicine and an adjunct appointment with the School of Optometry at the University of Waterloo. She holds a Tier 1 Canada Research Chair in Ophthalmic Biomaterials and Drug Delivery and has published more than 140 peer reviewed papers on this subject. She is currently the Scientific Director of C20/20, an ORF funded incubator aimed at the commercialization of ophthalmic biotechnologies. Sheardown was previously the Scientific Director of the 20/20 NSERC Ophthalmic Materials Research Network which brought together 12 researchers and more than 10 companies aimed at the early stage development of novel materials based treatments for ophthalmic conditions. Sheardown is the Associate Director of Biomedical Engineering and Advanced Manufacturing (BEAM), a McMaster partnership with the Fraunhofer IZI which partners with companies for incubation and commercialization of cell based therapies, diagnostics and biomaterials. She holds 18 patents or provisional patents and is currently the Chief Scientific Officer of 20/20 OptimEyes, a McMaster based spin out focused on developing and commercializing a micelle based technology developed in her laboratory. She runs a large and vibrant research group with more than 10 post doctoral fellows, and graduate students.