Berkeley CA, US, 12 Jan 2012 16:15 CET
EU awards funding towards the development of amino acid-based polymer particles as ocular drug delivery vehicles for the ophthalmic market
DSM, a global leader in biomedical materials sciences, today announced that it is contributing proprietary knowledge in the preparation of tailored amino acid-based polymers and offering use of processing facilities that will produce an innovative step change in the sustained delivery of drug molecules. The PANOPTES consortium’s goal is to research and develop novel drug delivery technology for the posterior eye segment. This partnership further validates the innovative properties of DSM’s polyesteramide (PEA) biomaterials as a superior drug delivery technology.
A rapidly growing and currently unmet need in the area of drug delivery is the sustained delivery of a wide spectrum of drugs and other bioactive molecules to the posterior segment of the eye. The American Health Assistance Foundation estimates that there are currently 9.1 million Americans suffering from age-related macular degeneration, a disorder of the posterior segment. Furthermore, it is estimated that approximately 6.5 million europeans suffer from the condition.
“DSM is partnering with an unmatched group of academics to develop new technologies, products, intellectual property and valuable data that will ultimately make a significant improvement in the treatment of ocular diseases,” said DSM Biomedical Research, Technology and Development Director, Marc Hendriks. “This partnership aligns with DSM’s push for open innovation, tapping into the wider academic community to help develop breakthrough technologies to benefit patients’ clinical outcomes worldwide.”
In addition to DSM, the PANOPTES consortium brings together academic experts from the University of Durham (United Kingdom), Radboud University Nijmegen (Netherlands), University of Helsinki (Finland), Complutense University of Madrid (Spain), and Eberhard Karls University Tübingen (Germany). The team is comprised of multidisciplinary, world-class researchers with backgrounds in materials sciences, pharmaceuticals and ophthalmological research, forming a chain of vertical expertise and driving the entire project from development to commercialization. The desired conclusion is to realize some of the longer term and more challenging goals of ophthalmic drug delivery.
The four year project is supported by 4 million Euros in funding from the Nanosciences, Nanotechnologies, Materials & New Production Technologies (NMP) Theme of the Cooperation Programme, under the 7th Research Framework Programme of the European Union. To date, no other European consortium has pursued such a focus in ophthalmic drug delivery. In fact, less than 10% of grant applicants are awarded such a large multiyear commitment. The award number is 246180.