The Current issue of “The view from here” is concerned with Ophthalmology

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

Sensory disorders are perhaps some of the most feared afflictions for individuals and of those, ocular conditions are potentially the most debilitating. Moreover, in many respects the physical structure of eyes makes the difficult job of drug discovery even more challenging as a result of the osmotic barrier represented by the physicochemical composition of the humors. More and more work and ingenuity has gone into developing solutions to facilitate the production of useful drugs for ophthalmological indications. To that respect, I have singled out a couple of recent articles illustrating some of potential targets for therapeutics and some recent developments related to drug delivery; they are outlined below.

The first article, “Annexins as potential targets in ocular diseases” by Rafael André da Silva, Vinicius Moraes de Paiva Roda, Luiz Philipe de Souza Ferreira, Sonia M. Oliani, Ana Paula Girol and Cristiane D. Gil outlines the distribution of various annexin subtypes. It is suggested that annexins may play roles in infection and in autoimmune, degenerative, fibrotic and angiogenic conditions. Their distribution and expression in cell types related to the eye is unclear. The review pulls together the current knowledge related to annexin distribution in and around the eye in normal and pathological states and the prospects for the development of therapies based upon modulation of the various protein isoforms.
Following this, we have an article dealing with the material approaches to drug delivery to the eye, by Deepak Kumar Mishra, Shilpkala Gade, Varun Pathak, Lalitkumar K Vora, Kiran Mcloughlin, Reinhold Medina, Ryan F Donnelly and Thakur Raghu Raj Singh, of The Queen’s University Belfast entitled: “Ocular application of electrospun materials for drug delivery and cellular therapies”. The authors outline how the structural properties of such materials in their microspun form can represent a useful approach to drugs, cells, biologics and growth factors to treat ocular disease and in addition can be useful in tissue regeneration. They further continue to outline methods of fabrication of nano and microfibres from electrospinning.
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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