Latanoprost (Xalatan) pressure reducing eye drops are the first line of defense against glaucoma. They’re unpleasant enough for a lot of patients to the point that the burning effect leads to poor adherence. What if there were contact lenses that release the drug slowly right onto the eyeball in a precise amount? Well, researchers at Boston Children’s Hospital and Massachusetts Eye and Ear have been successfully testing just such devices on monkeys with glaucoma in one eye.
Published in journal Ophthalmology, the team describes the creation of high and low dose contact lenses using latanoprost-polymer film. The film was placed within a hydrogel and the resulting material coated onto a contact lens.
Trying the lenses on the monkeys, the researchers showed that the low dose version was as effective as daily latanoprost eye drops and the high dose version was even better than the drops at reducing intraocular pressure.
The researchers are looking forward to the next steps of identifying the optimal dosage that keeps side effects low while optimizing therapy, potentially leading to the introduction of these devices into clinical practice in the coming years.