Treatment options for eye conditions such as dry eyes are severely limited because drugs that are applied to the eye are washed away in 1-2 minutes by tear flow and blinking. Dry eye disease (DED) is a ubiquitous, complex, and multifactorial condition, and its effect on patients ranges from intermittent and annoying discomfort to a serious and chronic vision-threatening disorder. Nearly 30 million adults in the U.S. experience dry eye symptoms, and its economic burden on the U.S. healthcare system is about $3.8 billion per year. DED represents a large, commercially attractive market that is currently underserved. Given the pervasiveness of the condition, the demand for dry eye treatments continues to increase, with the global dry eye treatments market to grow at a compounded annual growth rate of 5.5 percent, reaching $4.5 billion in 2021.
The AnkyrBio platform technology solves the drug washout problem and allows drugs to locally adhere in wet environments, thereby delivering optimum therapeutic benefit targeted to the affected tissue while minimizing side-effects, patient discomfort, and healthcare costs. This technology provides a fundamentally new approach to treat several other eye indications such as corneal haze, uveitis, keratitis, etc., and can help unlock the true therapeutic and commercial potential of a wide array of existing and new drugs.
The AnkyrBio technology enables therapeutics to be administered in eye drops and remain active on the surface of the eye for up to 3-5 days. This unique technology localizes the therapeutics to the site of the application, extends the drug duration of action, reduces dosing requirements and, minimizes systemic toxicity. The technology can be used with many currently marketed and future protein based therapies, including but not limited to drugs that inhibit inflammation, formation of haze, and unwanted growth of blood vessels. The procedure can be used with any antibody. AnkyrBio creates new uses for established drugs and new therapeutics in environments where they normally would be washed away.
Key advantages of the anchor technology over other solutions include, but are not limited to:
- Delivery of optimum therapeutic benefit
- Substantial reduction in drug dosage
- Prevention of systemic toxicity due to localization of therapeutics
In addition to treating several eye conditions, this technology can be extended to drug delivery to other wet environments in the body including the oral cavity, joints, and the gastrointestinal tract, which also suffer from similar drug washout problems.
Stage of Development
The anchoring technology has been successfully verified in tissue culture and on rabbit and human eyes (ex vivo), wherein it has been observed that the protein biological drugs remain anchored while maintaining biological activity. Applied proteins have been shown to remain on the surface of the eye in two different animal disease models for 1-5 days. A reduction in dry eye symptoms was observed in mice after less than 2 weeks of drops, applied once a day.
WO 2018/057522 ‘Harnessing protein-based drugs for use on the ocular surface and other fluid-covered tissues (nationalized in the US, EU, Japan and Australia).
PCT entitled “Delivering Biological Drugs to Tissues” filed on March 11, 2019.
Research grants and competitions generated over $100K in funds including:
- Clinical and Translational Science
Institute (CTSI) – Pittsburgh
- Sjogren’s Syndrome Foundation
- Lion’s Fund Grant Recipient
- Pitt Innovation Challenge (PInCh)
- Chancellor’s Innovation First Place Award Winner