The Current issue of “The view from here” is concerned with Ocular Drugs and Drug Delivery

The topic of this month’s newsletter from Drug Discovery Today is “Ocular Drugs and Drug Delivery”.

I suppose that many of you will have seen the Special Issue on “Ocular Drugs and Drug Delivery” that was published in August. My thanks go out to the Guest Editors, Ilva Rupenthal and Ann Daugherty for their invaluable help in identifying topics, corresponding and inviting authors and helping with the peer review process. Their contribution will, undoubtedly result in a highly successful issue, with very highly-cited articles. The issue highlights a wide range of cutting edge science related to the field, related to ocular pathologies, target discovery, lead discovery, novel therapeutic modalities, computational aspects, drug delivery, toxicity and nanomedicine. It was a hard job selecting 3 articles to highlight, however, in view of the strong theme of delivery, I picked three that discussed various aspects of delivery. I hope that you will agree with my choices, but will take the time to look over some of the other articles in the issue.

The first article, “Design principles of ocular drug delivery systems: importance of drug payload, release rate, and material properties” is by Astrid Subrizi, Eva M. del Amo, Viktor Korzhikov-Vlakh,Tatiana Tennikova, Marika Ruponen and Arto Urtti. The authors indicate that successful drug delivery to ocular targets depends on ocular biology, drug properties and formulation characteristics. They present a design approach for ocular drug delivery that can be used at the very earliest stages of drug development who may lack expertise in PKPD modeling of drugs for ocular purposes.
The second article in the series comes from Debby Chang, Kinam Park and Amin Famili and is entitled: “Hydrogels for sustained delivery of biologics to the back of the eye”. This article deals with the delivery of biological molecules, a field which in recent years has been demonstrated to have great beneficial effect. The use of hydrogels has the ability to allow sustained delivery of the therapeutic agent to the back of the eye which can result in an enhanced impact for the treatment of a number of ocular diseases. The article outlines the physicochemical properties of such hydrogels, how they might be administered and challenges still to be overcome for such hydrogel-based delivery systems.
Finally comes the article from Erico Himawan, Per Ekström, Matej Buzgo, Pieter Gaillard, Einar Stefánsson, Valeria Marigo, Thorsteinn Loftsson and François Paquet-Durand. “Drug delivery to retinal photoreceptors.” The article provides an interpharmacopoeial comparison of quality specifications of peptide-based drug monographs and areas for improvement in peptide therapeutics. The authors highlight how Drug delivery to the photoreceptors of the retina remains a major challenge for the treatment of a large number of ocular pathologies. In the article they highlight recent developments and advances in the field, focusing on nanoparticles as delivery vehicles.
Steve Carney was born in Liverpool, England and studied Biochemistry at Liverpool University, obtaining a BSc.(Hons) and then read for a PhD on the Biochemistry and Pathology of Connective Tissue Diseases in Manchester University, in the Departments of Medical Biochemistry and Histopathology. On completion of his PhD he moved to the Kennedy Institute of Rheumatology, London, where he worked with Professor Helen Muir FRS and Professor Tim Hardingham, on the biochemistry of experimental Osteoarthritis. He joined Eli Lilly and Co. and held a number of positions in Biology R&D, initially in the Connective Tissue Department, but latterly in the Neuroscience Department. He left Lilly to take up his present position as Managing Editor, Drug Discovery Today, at Elsevier. Currently, he also holds an honorary lectureship in Drug Discovery at the University of Surrey, UK. He has authored over 50 articles in peer-reviewed journals, written several book chapters and has held a number of patents.

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