Eyevensys unique approach has to potential to address a number of ocular diseases, and retinopathies.
Central Retinal Vein Occlusion (RVO)
The central retinal vein is the venous equivalent of the central retinal artery and, like that blood vessel, it can suffer from occlusion, known a CRVO or RVO. Since the central retinal artery and vein are the sole source of blood supply and drainage for the retina, such occlusion can lead to severe damage to the retina and blindness, due to ischemia and macular oedema. It can also cause glaucoma. Underlying conditions also require treatment. Non-Ischemic CRVO has better visual prognosis than Ischemic CRVO.
Treatment consists of Anti-VEGF drugs like Lucentis or intravitreal steroid implant (Ozurdex) and Pan-Retinal Laser Photocoagulation usually. A systematic review studied the effectiveness of the anti-VEGF drugs ranibizumab and pagatanib sodium for patients suffering from non-ischemic CRVO. Participants in both treatment groups showed improved visual acuity over 6 month periods, with no safety concerns.
Diabetic Retinopathy (DR/DME)
Diabetes is the root cause of the development of several eye disorders. The most prominent among them, based on severity, is diabetic retinopathy (DR), which involves the pathologic modification of retinal blood vessels.
DR is the result of damage to the tiny blood vessels that nourish the retina. They leak blood and other fluids that cause swelling of retinal tissue and clouding of vision. The condition usually affects both eyes, and can cause blindness if left untreated.
Non-proliferative DR forms the earliest phase of the disease and extends from aneurysms, through vessel blockage, to the neovascularization of the affected tissue site. The proliferative form of the disease is more severe as its exudative nature causes swift progression of visual impairment.
Diabetes and DR can often lead to macular oedema, which involves swelling of the retinal layer at the macula due to perfusion of the tissue with plasma from the microvasculature. Oedema can also result from dilated retinal vessels.
The current standard of care for DR and diabetic macular oedema (DME) involves laser photocoagulation, as well as adjuvant dietary and glycemic control measures. Apart from laser therapy, physicians also use off- label intravitreal treatment to suppress pronounced oedema in patients for whom laser therapy cannot be performed. The drugs used as off-label treatment to DME includes Lucentis, Avastin and Trivaris. In 2009, Ozurdex was approved for the treatment of macular edema following RVO. Recently, Lucentis has also been approved in the EU, for the treatment of visual impairment due to macular oedema secondary to retinal vein occlusion.
Despite these developments, and the increasing role of anti-VEGF strategies in the treatment of RVO or DME, the number of anti-VEGF intravitreal injections constitute an important hurdle, as drug and interventional costs are steep, and monitoring costs affects the healthcare system capacity to treat patients.
Reducing the number of intravitreal injections per year, as the Eyevensys approach would allow to achieve represents an opportunity to reduce the burden on healthcare systems, and to improve patient compliance.