Drugs in R&D

Fluocinolone acetonide ophthalmic--Bausch & Lomb: fluocinolone acetonide Envision TD implant.

PMID 15777105


Bausch & Lomb and Control Delivery Systems have developed an intravitreal implant that can deliver the corticosteroid fluocinolone acetonide [fluocinolone acetonide implant, Retisert] to posterior eye tissue for up to 3 years. The implant uses Bausch & Lomb's Envision TD technology. This fluocinolone acetonide implant has been designed for the treatment of non-infectious uveitis affecting the posterior segment of the eye and other eye disorders, which benefit from local anti-inflammatory therapy. In July 2003, Bausch & Lomb assumed all responsibility for day-to-day clinical development and regulatory activities relating to fluocinolone acetonide implant development from Control Delivery Systems. In May 2002, Control Delivery systems and Bausch & Lomb formally amended their budget for their license and development agreement. Bausch & Lomb will increase its funding to support the development of agents for the treatment of diabetic macular oedema, posterior uveitis and wet age-related macular degeneration to USD $206 million through to 2008. In January 2004, Bausch & Lomb decided to focus development of the fluocinolone acetonide implant in only one indication, non-infectious uveitis affecting the posterior segment of the eye. It had been in development for other indications, including macular oedema and age-related macular degeneration. However, these will be targeted with later-generation implant technologies, different drugs, or combinations of both. The implant delivering fluocinolone acetonide 0.59 mg or 2.1mg has completed enrollment in two pivotal 3-year phase IIb/III trials in the US, Canada, Australia and Asia for the treatment of posterior uveitis. Enrollment in these multicenter randomised, double-masked studies was closed in May 2003. Bausch & Lomb was expected to file an NDA with the US FDA for the use of the agent in the treatment of uveitis in mid-2003. However, in February 2003, the company reported that, after a review of various filing strategies, the date of filing for the treatment of non-infectious uveitis affecting the posterior segment of the eye would be held back until mid-2004, with possible commercialisation during 2005. Positive results based on 34-week data from the first phase III trial of fluocinolone acetonide implant, conducted in 26 US centres and one centre in Singapore, were reported in September 2003. Patients in this trial will be followed for an additional 2.5 years. Thirty-four-week results from the second phase III trial, conducted in 239 patients at 19 centres in Canada, the US, Australia, India, the Philippines and Hong Kong, have confirmed results in the initial phase III study, and were presented at the 37th Annual Meeting of the Retina Society. Bausch & Lomb continues to target commercialisation for 2005. In May 2000, the fluocinolone acetonide implant was granted fast-track status from the FDA and in July 2000 it received Orphan Drug designation from the FDA for posterior uveitis. In addition, enrollment was completed in a phase II trial of a fluocinolone acetonide 0.59 mg implant for the treatment of predominantly occult subfoveal choroidal neovascularisation in patients with AMD in July 2002. However, development in this indication has been discontinued.