ATLANTA and WATERTOWN, Mass., Feb. 16 /PRNewswire/ -- Alimera Sciences Inc., an emerging ophthalmic pharmaceutical company, and Control Delivery Systems Inc. (CDS), a leader in innovative drug delivery systems for the eye, today announced a worldwide agreement to co-develop and market a new pharmacologic treatment indicated for diabetic macular edema (DME), a major cause of vision loss in people suffering from diabetic retinopathy. Alimera Sciences also has the option to develop three additional products using CDS' drug delivery technology.
"The prospect of offering patients with diabetes, their caregivers and ophthalmology professionals the convenience of an outpatient injection with the potential for three-year drug delivery is truly exciting," said Dan Myers, CEO of Alimera Sciences. "We are confident that our collaboration and joint expertise will successfully deliver this invaluable option to diabetic patients."
Alimera Sciences and CDS are in discussions with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to initiate clinical trials to determine the effectiveness of injecting an implantable form of CDS' technology into the vitreous of the eye to treat DME. The miniscule implant is small enough to be injected into the eye via a 25 gauge needle and is expected to provide delivery of drug to the back of the eye for up to three years.
"The Alimera Sciences team has an excellent track record of successfully developing and marketing ophthalmic pharmaceuticals," said Paul Ashton, CEO of CDS. "New, improved treatments for DME are overdue, and we are confident that the combined development expertise along with Alimera's marketing experience will make this treatment a very viable option for improved vision outcomes."
DME is a common complication of diabetic retinopathy and is caused by fluid build-up in the central vision portion of the retina. In 2002, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimated the prevalence of diabetes in the United States to be 18.2 million persons. Further research indicates that up to 10 percent of all diabetes patients develop DME during their lifetimes.
Currently, the only approved method of treating DME involves laser photocoagulation therapy, which can leave irreversible blind spots. Many systemic compounds will not produce a therapeutic effect in the back of the eye. The compounds being studied to treat DME must be injected repeatedly due to a lack of true long term release characteristics.
About Alimera Sciences Inc.
Alimera Sciences Inc. specializes in the development and commercialization of over-the-counter and prescription ophthalmology pharmaceuticals. Founded by an executive team with extensive development and revenue growth expertise, Alimera Sciences' products address underserved and overlooked areas of the ophthalmic market. In August 2004, Alimera Sciences unveiled Soothe, the market's first multi-dose, emollient-based artificial tear product.
About Control Delivery Systems, Inc.
Control Delivery Systems, Inc. develops innovative, sustained-release, drug-delivery products to treat severe and chronic diseases that currently have limited or no effective treatment options. CDS has a strong history of developing drug delivery devices for the back of the eye, including one product for cytomegalovirus retinitis, a blinding eye disease primarily afflicting late-stage AIDS patients, and another that is currently under review by the FDA for posterior uveitis. CDS, a privately held company, is headquartered in Watertown, MA.
Alimera Sciences Inc.; Control Delivery Systems Inc.