Scientists have developed a revolutionary new eye drop to treat an age-related eye disorder, spelling the end for painful injections used to combat one of the leading causes of blindness. The eye disorder known as age-related macular degeneration (AMD) is a painless condition which causes people to gradually lose their central vision, usually in both eyes. AMD, one of the leading causes of blindness in the UK, is currently treated by repeated injections into the eye on a monthly basis over at least three years. This is a problem because, apart from being an unpleasant procedure for patients to undergo, the injections can cause tearing and infections inside the eye and an increased risk of blindness. Scientists at the University of Birmingham in the UK have invented a method of delivering the injected drug as an eye drop instead, and their laboratory research has obtained the same outcomes as the injected drug. The drop uses a cell-penetrating peptide (CPP) to deliver the drug to the relevant part of the eye within minutes. "The CPP-drug has the potential to have a significant impact on the treatment of AMD by revolutionising drug- delivery options," said Felicity de Cogan, who led the study published in the journal Investigative Opthamology and Visual Science. "Efficacious self-administered drug application by eye drop would lead to a significant reduction in adverse outcomes and health care costs compared with current treatments," said de Cogan. "The CPP-plus drug complex also has potential application to other chronic ocular diseases that require drug delivery to the posterior chamber of the eye," she said.
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