Sustained Release Technology
Diseases of the retina are among the leading causes of vision impairment and blindness. New treatment options for these conditions represent a considerable unmet medical need. However, delivering drugs—particularly small-molecule drugs—to the back of the eye at sustained, therapeutic concentrations is critical to improving clinical outcomes and reducing treatment burden for patients.
Aerie is pursuing two technological solutions to the challenges of drug delivery to the retina. We have entered into a collaborative research, development and licensing agreement with DSM, a global science-based company headquartered in the Netherlands. The agreement includes an option to license DSM’s bio-erodable polyesteramide (PEA) polymer for use in the production of sustained delivery implants to treat ophthalmic diseases. Preclinical research has produced early success with AR-13503 implants, including the demonstration of linear sustained elution rates over several months and achievement of target retinal drug concentrations.
Aerie has also acquired exclusive rights to ophthalmic applications of PRINT® manufacturing technology from Envisia Therapeutics, Inc. PRINT® is a proprietary manufacturing system capable of engineering highly-precise microparticle and nanoparticle systems.1 The PRINT® technology gives us the unique ability to rationally and precisely design implants of virtually any size for sustained delivery of small-molecule and biologic active pharmaceutical ingredients.2 The chemical flexibility of the PRINT® technology offers many potential advantages, such as tunable release kinetics, targeting chemistries, improved drug/cargo loading, delivery of sensitive cargos like peptides and nucleic acids, and combination products.
We are currently utilizing the PRINT® technology in the development programs for both AR-13503 and AR-1105.
A proprietary polymer is added to the surface of a micropatterned “master template” (left) and crosslinked to generate a precise mold having microscale cavities (second from left). This mold is then filled with drug and polymer (second from right), generating an implant array (right). Implants can be removed from the array and inserted into a needle for injection. PRINT® implants maintain the dimensions of features on the master template.
1. Aerie Pharmaceuticals Announces Drug Delivery Asset Acquisition to Further Advance Its Retinal Disease Program. http://www.businesswire.com/news/home/20171005005490/en/Aerie-Pharmaceuticals-Announces-Drug-Delivery-Asset-Acquisition. Accessed November 15, 2017. 2. Sandahl M, Melton D, Tully J, Yang M, Garcia A, Trevino L, Williams S. Evaluation of reproducibility and uniformity of PRINT implant manufacturing. Poster # 5671-A0390. Presented at the Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology Annual Meeting, April 29 – May 3, 2018, Honolulu, HI.