Drug Delivery and Medical Devices

Abramov E, Cassiola F, Schwob O, Karsh-Bluman A, Shapero M, Ellis J, Luyindula D, Adini I, D'Amato RJ, Benny O. Cellular mechanism of oral absorption of solidified polymer micelles. Nanomedicine 2015;11(8):1993-2002.Abstract

UNLABELLED: Oral delivery of poorly soluble and permeable drugs represents a significant challenge in drug development. The oral delivery of drugs remains to be the ultimate route of any drugs. However, in many cases, drugs are not absorbed well in the gastrointestinal tract, or they lose their activity. Polymer micelles were recognized as an effective carrier system for drug encapsulation, and are now studied as a vehicle for oral delivery of insoluble compounds. We characterized the properties of monomethoxy polyethylene glycol-poly lactic acid (mPEG-PLA) micelles, and visualized their internalization in mouse small intestine. Using Caco-2 cells as a cellular model, we studied the kinetics of particle uptake, their transport, and the molecular mechanism of their intestinal absorption. Moreover, by inhibiting specific endocytosis pathways, pharmacologically and genetically, we found that mPEG-PLA nanoparticle endocytosis is mediated by clathrin in an energy-dependent manner, and that the low-density lipoprotein receptor is involved. FROM THE CLINICAL EDITOR: Many current drugs used are non-water soluble and indeed, the ability to deliver these drugs via the gastrointestinal tract remains the holy grail for many researchers. The authors in this paper developed monomethoxy polyethylene glycol-poly lactic acid (mPEG-PLA) micelles as a drug nanocarrier, and studied the mechanism of uptake across intestinal cells. The findings should improve our current understanding and point to the development of more nanocarriers.

Hwang J, Hwang TJ, Ciolino JB. Pivotal clinical trials of novel ophthalmic drugs and medical devices: retrospective observational study, 2002-2012. BMJ Open 2015;5(6):e007987.Abstract

OBJECTIVES: Novel therapeutics are an important part of ophthalmologists' armamentarium, and the risks and benefits of these therapies must be carefully evaluated. We sought to quantify the characteristics of the pivotal clinical trials supporting the regulatory approval of new ophthalmic drugs and medical devices. DESIGN: Retrospective observational study. SETTING AND DATA SOURCE: Medical review dossiers for new ophthalmic drug and high-risk device approvals released publicly by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA). MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: Proportion of pivotal trials with randomisation, masking, active or placebo controls and subgroup analyses; total and median number of trial enrollees; and the number of drugs and devices approved with required postapproval studies. RESULTS: From 2002 to 2012, the FDA approved 11 ophthalmic drugs and 25 devices. The pivotal trials underlying the approvals of ophthalmic drugs in our study cohort enrolled a median of 809 patients. Virtually all drug trials were randomised and masked (91%), of which 7 (70%) used a placebo control. Pivotal trials for ophthalmic devices enrolled 324 patients on average, and significantly fewer trials for ophthalmic devices versus drugs were randomised (16% vs 91%; p<0.001) or masked (12% vs 91%; p<0.001). 8 (32%) ophthalmic devices and 6 (55%) ophthalmic drugs were approved with required postapproval studies. CONCLUSIONS: Ophthalmic therapeutics were approved based on varying levels of evidence. Postapproval studies could be used to confirm or refute early indications of safety and effectiveness of these therapeutics, with the study results accessible to patients and clinicians who need to make informed treatment decisions.

Barhoumi A, Salvador-Culla B, Kohane DS. NIR-Triggered Drug Delivery by Collagen-Mediated Second Harmonic Generation. Adv Healthc Mater 2015;4(8):1159-63.Abstract

Second harmonic generation is a process through which nonlinear materials such as collagen can absorb two photons and scatter one with twice the energy. Collagen upconverts 730 nm (near-IR) to 365 nm (UV) through second harmonic generation, which cleaves a molecule bound to collagen via a UV-sensitive linker.

Barhoumi A, Salvador-Culla B, Kohane DS. Nonlinear Optics: NIR-Triggered Drug Delivery by Collagen-Mediated Second Harmonic Generation (Adv. Healthcare Mater. 8/2015). Adv Healthc Mater 2015;4(8):1108.Abstract

In the study presented by D. S. Kohane and co-workers on page 1159, fluorescein molecules are initially bound to collagen fibers through UV-sensitive bonds. Collagen fibers are exposed to NIR light, which is upconverted to UV light through second harmonic generation. The UV-sensitive bonds absorb the upconverted UV light and undergo an irreversible cleavage releasing the fluorescein molecules.

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