The eye is a unique organ, exposed to the external environment on one hand, and extension of the central nervous system on the other. Being part of the CNS result in special biochemical conditions, immune-sequestration and immune-privileges to allow proper function. The eye is composed of three distinct compartments: the external ocular surface, the anterior segment, and the posterior segment, each accessible to drugs differently. While the external eye and ocular surface are accessible to drugs applied topically, drug delivery to the retina that is protected by the blood ocular barrier (BOB) is extremely complicated.
This presentation will focus on:
· A review of the different ocular compartments and common related diseases
· The fate of pharmaceutical materials applied as eye drops (pharmacokinetics)
· The challenge of drug penetration to the different ocular compartments
· Repurposing of drugs, approved for other indications, for ocular use
· Development of new chemicals entities dedicated to eye diseases
· New approaches to drug delivery into the eyeball (bypassing BOB and cornea)
Common systemic diseases and their manifestations in the eye (Diabetes, Hypertension and Vascular indications) will also be compared to ocular specific diseases (Glaucoma and AMD) via the prism of drug development. The presentation will touch upon unmet medical needs and unique opportunities, while reviewing the limitations and challenges in drug development for ocular indications.