FDA approves dissolvable glaucoma implant

The device lowered IOP by 30% in patients with open-angle glaucoma or ocular hypertension

holding hands
Pixabay/Sabine van Erp
The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved Allergan’s drug-releasing implant, Durysta, for administration within the cavities of the eye to reduce intraocular pressure (IOP) in patients with open-angle glaucoma or ocular hypertension.

Chief research and development officer at Allergan, David Nicholson, highlighted that the implant provides a “much-needed” option for patients who find using topical drops challenging.

The device releases the glaucoma medication bimatoprost.

Research published in Ophthalmology evaluated the effectiveness and safety of the bimatoprost implant in patients with open-angle glaucoma and ocular hypertension over a 20-month period.

Patients were randomly assigned to three different treatment groups. A control group received twice-daily drops of timolol, while the other two groups bimatoprost implants with different dose strengths.

Study participants were recruited across 108 sites in 14 different countries.

The researchers noted that the size of the implant is roughly similar to the ‘i’ in ‘liberty’ on the US dime.

For UK OT readers, this is a similar size to the ‘i’ within ‘five’ on a 5p coin.

Both dose strengths of the implant met the study benchmark of performing at least as well as the timolol drops.

The implant reduced IOP by around 30% from baseline over the 12-week primary efficacy period.

The study concluded that the bimatoprost implant has potential to improve adherence and reduce treatment burden in glaucoma.

Researchers highlighted that a risk-benefit assessment of the results were in favour of the lower dose strength of bimatoprost.