Historical Challenges & Achievements Supporting Development Toward Commercialization
Controlled release from contact lenses has been the subject of discussions and investigation for fifty, (50) years. Previous methods suffered from either poor control of the release profile or inadequate drug loading with the overwhelming majority of researchers demonstrating both problems. Thus, there are no products on the market today. With the OcuMedic’s patented method memory for the drug is produced during polymer synthesis where monomers are complexed non-covalently to the drug and crosslinked into a hydrogel matrix.
Upon removal of the drug, macromolecular memory sites remain within the hydrogel with affinity for the drug. The drug’s heightened interaction with these memory pockets enhances its loading and SLOWS its transport within the hydrogel despite comparable free volume of drug transport. It has been shown that the extension of release has a strong dependence on mimicking biological recognition in the design exploiting the chemical diversity and amounts of monomers in relation to the drug. Thus, OcuMedic’s can literally…. DIAL IN THE RELEASE OF DRUG FROM THE LENS OVER TIME delivering a therapeutic concentration of drug payload for the duration of wear.
Competitors and Competitive Advantage
The US ophthalmic prescription drug market is highly competitive and includes leading brand and generic providers for eye drops. The leading marketed product suppliers are Novartis (Zaditor- ocular allergy, Vitravene-CMV retinitis), Alcon (Tobradex-infection and inflammation; Vigamox-infection, Azopt-glaucoma), Allergan (Restasis-dry eye, diquafosol-dry 3%), Bausch & Lomb (Alrex, Lotemax-Inflammation and Allergy), Merck & Co (Cosopt-glaucoma), Pfizer, Isis, Santen, and QLT. There are 5 major global contact lens manufacturers: Vistakon (Johnson & Johnson), CIBA Vision (Alcon), Bausch & Lomb (division of Valeant Pharmaceutical), CooperVision (Division of Cooper Companies), and Ocular Sciences, Inc. There have been mergers in the eye care space between pharma and contact lens manufacturers. For example, Valeant pharmaceuticals acquired Bausch & Lomb in 2013 and Novartis, who owned CIBA Vision, acquired Alcon in 2011. Consolidations and re-positioning with-in the segment continues.